Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey has been effectively invisible since it came to light in September that he'd been funding an "alt-right" meme-posting group called Nimble America. Even during the launch of Oculus Touch earlier this month—a product Luckey revealed (opens in new tab) at an official press conference in 2015—the young VR inventor wasn't heard from or seen.
The silence was so determined and drawn out, that people began to wonder if Luckey was still involved with Oculus at all, or if he'd been quietly shown the door. Following the news that co-founder Brendan Iribe is stepping down as CEO to head up a new PC VR technology group, however, Oculus confirmed with VentureBeat that Luckey is in fact still with the company. But what he's doing remains something of a mystery.
“Palmer is still at Oculus and we’ll have more to share on his new role soon,” a rep said.
Luckey issued an apology in September for his support of Nimble America, a group famous for "proving" that "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real," although not for his actions but for the negative impact they may have had on Oculus. The company issued a statement of its own saying that employees are "free to support the issues or causes that matter to them, whether or not we agree with those views," and also emphasizing that Luckey "acted independently in a personal capacity, and in no way representing the company."
In light of all that, it's not entirely surprising that he's still with Oculus, but at the same time the front-facing role he previously held may have been a little too visible, even several months after the fact. Where he'll actually end up is anyone's guess, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him transition to a role similar to Iribe's, out of the leadership spotlight.