Claude Zellweger, HTC’s VP of Design, is making the switch from PC VR to mobile VR.
The designer, who worked on both HTC’s smartphones and its Vive VR headset at its San Francisco office, yesterday confirmed that he was leaving the Taiwanese company to join Google, where he’ll work on the company’s new Daydream mobile VR ecosystem.
@vladsavov I am joining Google Daydream, so you can redirect your criticism:).
— Claude Zellweger (@Claudibus) January 26, 2017
HTC itself confirmed to UploadVR that Zellweger had parted ways with the company, stating: “HTC can confirm that Claude Zellweger has left the Company. We appreciate his considerable contribution to HTC, and wish him well in his future endeavors. HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader strategy to ensure the continued strength and integrity of the Company’s organizational structure.”
Zellweger spent almost five years at HTC, acting as Associate Vice President of Advanced Concepts from September 2012 to October 2014 before being promoted to his design role. According to his LinkedIn profile, the designer also managed Vive’s “brand strategy and execution”.
From a strict design viewpoint, Daydream could definitely use some help. That was our biggest complaint about Google’s own headset, Daydream View, when it launched late last year. Still, we don’t know exactly what plans Google has for Zellweger, and we’ve reached out to the company to find out.
The news comes shortly after the announcement that Facebook hired Hugo Barra, former spokesman for Google’s Android operating system, as its new Head of VR. Barra will be leading the Oculus team which itself has split into mobile and PC divisions as former CEO Brendan Iribe stepped down to lead the latter. Executive switch-ups like these show two companies that are rapidly moving to get ready for a new era of immersive technology.