Facebook’s Mike Schroepfer has stepped down from the post of chief technology officer (CTO) after working with the social media giant for close to 13 years. Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook’s augmented reality/Virtual Reality wing, has been chosen as the next CTO.
The rare top-level rejig at the social media company, for industry watchers, appears to be a step towards Facebook sharpening its focus on its ambitious Metaverse project.
Metaverse is referred to the concept of a future iteration of the internet, characterized by shared 3D virtual spaces linked to a virtual universe. In the words of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg metaverse is an "embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it."
Bosworth has been with Facebook for close to 16 years. He is credited with developing Facebook’s AR/VR arm, which was rebranded in 2020 as Facebook Reality Labs (FRL). Bosworth led Facebook’s efforts in virtual reality, along with consumer hardware such as smart eyewear Oculus, the company’s brand of smart displays and videophones called Portal and the Facebook Reality Labs Research. He will take over as CTO in 2022.
“These contributions are foundational components of our broader efforts to help build the metaverse. I’m confident and grateful for Boz’s leadership and the deep and talented technical bench of leaders we have at the helm,” said Schroepfer about the incoming CTO.
Schroepfer will continue to work with Facebook in a part-time role as a Senior Fellow in 2022, the executive said in a Facebook post.
“This change in role will allow me to dedicate more time to my family and my personal philanthropic efforts while staying deeply connected to the company working on key initiatives,” wrote Schroepfer in a post.
Schroepfer added that he will oversee recruiting and developing technical talent in AI-based investments such as PyTorch, which is an open-source machine learning library.