The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft’s augmented reality team lost around 100 employees in the past year. Most of these went to Meta, which is actively recruiting valuable staff with experience in virtual and augmented reality. This is due to the company’s great ambitions in the Metaverse.
Former Microsoft employees say competitors are attracting people who have worked on HoloLens augmented reality headsets by offering to double their salaries. Microsoft’s augmented reality team is said to have around 1,500 employees.
Those who left Microsoft to work at Meta include Charlie Han, who was responsible for collecting customer feedback on HoloLens, and Josh Miller, who worked on headset displays. Microsoft declines to share details about the HoloLens team, but says layoffs are a common problem many teams face and the company is doing its best to retain staff and hire new ones as needed.
Leading tech companies poaching one another is nothing new. The pace and extent of such lure, however, are remarkable to modern reality. This is because a large company like Meta is trying to grow quickly. Matt Stern, chief operating officer of Mira Labs, a startup that helps companies implement augmented reality in the workplace, says the current state of affairs has increased VR salaries. This made it difficult for small businesses to compete with the giants of the market for highly skilled workers.
As a reminder, Facebook changed its name to Meta in October to highlight its focus on creating the metaverse as a top priority. The company said spending on the new Metaverse building division would reduce total operating profit by approximately $ 10 billion in 2021. Meta intends to hire many new employees to develop VR products. In Europe alone, the company is expected to create 10,000 new Metaverse jobs over the next five years.
Microsoft isn’t the only company whose talent Meta is stealing. The former Facebook also allegedly wants to poach masses of top Apple employees. It’s worth noting that many large tech companies “caught fire” with the idea of creating a metaverse. Today we reported that Tencent intends to acquire the gaming smartphone and accessories maker Black Shark from Xiaomi to enter the fast growing Metaverse market. Black Shark will produce VR hardware for Tencent, while the Chinese gaming giant will publish software itself and fill its own meta-universe with content.