Facebook hires Apple design chief as head of hardware for Oculus

Michael Hillman left Apple as chief architect of all consumer desktop products

By Matthew Handrahan.Published Tuesday 28th March 2017, 7:55am GMT

Facebook has hired a veteran of Apple's product design division to be the head of hardware for Oculus VR.

Michael Hillman, who joined Apple in March 2000, was initially lead designer on the iMac, before moving on to be manager of iMac product design. He spent seven years of his 15 at the company as chief architect for all of Apple's consumer desktop products, and his final four involved a "confidential" hardware project - per Linkedin.

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Hillman joins Oculus after a year at the robotics company Zoox Inc.. According to Bloomberg, he will work closely with COO Hans Hartmann, who joined Oculus from Fitbit in May last year.

"We're excited to have him leading the hardware organization," an Oculus spokesperson told Fortune. "We have a world-class hardware team that led the development of Rift and Touch, and we're going to keep investing in hardware as we push the boundaries of VR technology and build next generation consumer VR products."

By any measure, this is a significant hire for Oculus, and it arrives shortly after another. In January, Facebook appointed a new head of VR for the entire organisation: Hugo Barra, who was the lead international executive at the Chinese company Xiaomi. According to Facebook, Barra has yet to officially start at the company.

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