Top Executive Stops Working On Zuckerberg’s Meta Project

( Meta, the parent company of social media apps Facebook and Instagram, is losing a major executive at the company who was responsible for building out the company’s software that powered its virtual reality products.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the company announced that Vivek Sharma would be leaving the company. He was serving as the vice president of the Horizon social media virtual reality software at Meta.

Sharma spent the last six years working for Meta. He held many lofty positions and titles with Meta, both in the Facebook Marketplace and for some of its gaming divisions. Most recently, he was serving as the VP of the company’s business unit that was dedicated to the nascent metaverse.

Sharma was based in Meta’s offices in Seattle. As the vice president of the division, he was responsible for overseeing many virtual reality projects. That included the Horizon Worlds social media service. That’s similar to the popular online game known as Second Life, and it was retrofitted to work via virtual reality.

He was also involved in other products for Horizon included an app that was designed to serve as a workplace collaboration over virtual reality that was called Horizon Workrooms. Sharma also played a huge role in the Horizon Venues app, which was being used for live events and moved over into the core Worlds app over the summer.

In a statement announcing that Sharma would be leaving the company, a spokesperson for Meta said:

“Thanks to his leadership, the Horizon product group has built a strong team with an ambitious vision, and it is just getting started. Meta continues to be a source for developing great leaders, and we’re excited to see what Vivek accomplishes in his next chapter.”

Those were kind words that Meta had for one of its former leaders, but his resignation certainly comes at a time that was very embarrassing for the company. There were many critics of Horizon Worlds who were poking fun at the shoddy graphics that were included in the platform that were first made public when CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a virtual avatar.

After he shared his “selfie,” even Zuckerberg said that the virtual avatar of him was “pretty basic.”

So, was Sharma made to pay for that public embarrassment that Meta suffered in the rollout of its huge shift in philosophy and focus for the company? Who knows, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that that’s what happened in this case.

The team at Meta that reported to Sharma is now set to report directly to Vishal Shah, who serves as the VP of the Metaverse for Meta.

The company is focusing so heavily on the metaverse, dumping loads of development money, effort and time into it. The metaverse is a collection of different digital words that people are able to access by using technologies around virtual reality and augmented reality.

Many people are saying that the metaverse is the “next frontier of computing,” though whether the fully digital world will be adopted in large waves by the public is still in question.