Oculus announced today that it has brought on board Fitbit’s Hans Hartmann as its new chief operating officer. He will replace Laird Malamed, who had assumed that post since the company’s founding. Malamed will be taking on an unspecified executive role aimed at “helping [Oculus] scale the business to bring virtual reality to millions around the world.”
For the past five years, Hartmann had been the chief operations officer at Fitbit where he, according to his LinkedIn profile, was responsible for hardware product development, supply chain operations, and customer support. His resume includes multiple stints as manager of operations at Barco, Force10 Networks, HP, ConvergeNet, and Skyline Solar, among others.
Fitbit released its first quarter earnings today, but did not cite Hartmann’s departure in its report.
The addition of someone with experience shipping products is likely welcome news for not only Oculus, but also customers who’ve ordered the virtual reality headsets. The company is facing frustration from costumers who are upset about the status of their orders. In April, the Facebook-owned company waived shipping costs for the Oculus Rift (for those who had placed the order by a specific time).
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe apologized for the delays in a Reddit thread, saying: “The first few batches are going out slower than we estimated, so we’re giving free shipping for all preorders, including international.” It has gotten to a point where the company has begun telling customers to go to Best Buy instead.
Updated at 8:17 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday: This post has been updated to clarify Hans Hartmann’s role at Fitbit as chief operations officer where he was responsible for supply chain, customer service, and hardware engineering.