AR-headset maker shifting focus to business from consumers, named Microsoft Business Development EVP Peggy Johnson as CEO.
Johnson’s appointment, effective Aug. 1, comes as Magic Leap wave focus to a business customer base and away from consumers.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2014, Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm QCOM, where she held senior management positions and was a member of the executive committee. She’s now on the board at BlackRock, the New York asset manager.
Magic Leap, founded by Rony Abovitz in 2011, has attracted $3.5 billion from venture capital investors, including Alphabet’s Google, Alibaba Fidelity and Andreessen Horowitz. It was valued at $6.4 billion, according to PitchBook.
“But after its headset sales flopped, it changed course,” according to reports. “Other makers of augmented and virtual reality headsets, including Google Glass, Facebook’s Oculus VR and Microsoft’s HoloLens, have faced similar challenges, with some shifting directions to business applications like manufacturing.”
Johnson expressed enthusiasm about her new job. “Since its founding in 2011, Magic Leap has pioneered the field of spatial computing, and I have long admired the relentless efforts and accomplishments of this exceptional team,” she said in a statement.
“Magic Leap’s technological foundation is undeniable, and there is no question that has the potential to shape the future of XR and computing. As CEO, I look forward to strategically building enduring relationships [with] … enterprises of all sizes and industries.”