Augmented reality giant Magic Leap is closing its Seattle office amid layoffs – GeekWire

Posted: May 14, 2020 at 5:19 pm

(Magic Leap Photo)

Update, 4:42 p.m. PT: A Magic Leap representative confirmed that the office has closed.

Original story: Magic Leap will close its Seattle satellite office, according to a new state filing, as the well-funded augmented reality startup sheds workers and pivots its focus to business customers.

A WARN notice filed with the Washington state Employment Security Department says that Magic Leap will close its Seattle outpost. The move will impact 39 workers beginning June 21, according to the notice.

In a April 22 blog post, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said the company cut staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloomberg reported that about 1,000 employees were let go, or about half of the workforce.

The secretive company, headquartered in Plantation, Fla., landed in Seattle four years ago. Its one of more than 125 out-of-town companies that have established engineering and research-and-development facilities in the Seattle region in recent years.

Magic Leaps Seattle office was led by Neal Stephenson, the famed science fiction author who became the companys chief futurist six years ago, along with Brian Schowengerdt, a longtime University of Washington professor who is its chief science and experience officer and co-founder.

The outpost hosted a group called SCEU, short for Self-Contained Existence Unit, a content-focused R&D squad led by Stephenson. It was also home to a developer relations team led by gaming veteran Tadhg Kelly, who left Magic Leap this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Weve contacted Magic Leap, Stephenson, and Schowengerdt for details about the Seattle office and will update this story when we hear back.

Magic Leap has generated immense interest over the years, and even more cash, raising more than $2.6 billion in its lifetime from heavy hitters including Google, Alibaba, Andreessen Horowitz, Paul Allens Vulcan Capital and others.

Virtual and augmented reality has found some traction with businesses but not as much with consumers. Even with the ongoing pandemic and more people staying at home, VR remains a niche product, Axios reported this week.

Visit link:
Augmented reality giant Magic Leap is closing its Seattle office amid layoffs - GeekWire

Related Post