Multiple Workers Leave Microsoft for Meta’s Metaverse

By January 10, 2022Metaverse
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Microsoft has seen its augmented realty (AR) team shrink by more than 100 members since last year, many of them moving to Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) as Big Tech seeks employees with the expertise needed to craft the metaverse, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Monday (Jan. 10).

Microsoft competitors have been recruiting people who had worked on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headsets, in some cases offering to double their salaries, according to the report, which cited unnamed former employees and online job profiles. The Microsoft AR team employs around 1,500 people.

LinkedIn profiles of more than 70 ex-HoloLens team members show they have left Microsoft over the last year, more than 40 of them joining Meta, which is in the middle of a major AR tech effort, the report stated.

Apple is also losing employee to Meta as well, according to the report, which cited unnamed employees and LinkedIn profiles of ex-Apple workers.

While tech giants poaching from each other — or from smaller companies — isn’t a novel development, it’s worth noting the speed and scale of this phenomenon as Meta attempts to grow, Matt Stern, chief operating officer at the AR startup Mira Labs Inc. told WSJ.

“It’s driven up prices in the market,” he said, per the report. “It’s difficult for smaller companies to compete.”

Facebook changed its name to Meta in October as part of a larger effort to move the company’s focus to the metaverse. It plans to spend $10 billion toward that goal.

“We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the internet, and it’s the next chapter for our company too,” founder Mark Zuckerberg said at the time. “Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers.”

In November, Meta and Microsoft rolled out plans to integrate Meta’s Workplace enterprise social network software suite and Microsoft Teams, giving customers access to Workplace content in the Teams app.



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