Oculus hires Fitbit chief operating officer

Rachael Power is an editor at TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.

In the midst of backlash against Oculus’ product delays, the company has announced that it’s hired Hans Hartmann, formerly of Fitbit as its new chief operating officer (COO).

He’ll replace current COO Laird Malamed, who will take on a new executive role to help Oculus scale.

CEO Brendan Iribe tweeted earlier this week that he was ‘excited’ to welcome Hartmann as the new COO.

Hartmann spent five years in his senior role at Fitbit, through the company’s major $43m (£29m) funding round in 2013, which – arguably – led to it going from a little-known startup to a major player in the wearable fitness tracker industry.

The new Oculus COO reportedly has vast supply chain knowledge and according to his LinkedIn profile, 30 years’ industry experience, including 15 at Hewlett Packard and 15 at other early stage companies.

Hartmann holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University.

Fans appear to be hoping that Hartmann’s supply chain experience will help with delays that have affected some pre-ordered headsets.

Earlier this week, Oculus announced it would demo its Rift headsets at selected Best Buy stores in the US, something it wants to roll out to Canada and Europe later in the year. And according to forum VR Talk, it’s changed its shipping from expadited to ground, meaning a potential extra one to two day delay or a “small difference” in delivery times. 

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