back to article Magic Leap's CFO and creative director quit, and it's not a harbinger of doom or anything

Augmented reality hype-machine Magic Leap has lost its chief financial officer (CFO) and creative director, putting yet more question marks over the company's future. CFO Scott Henry and senior VP of creative strategy John Gaeta have both left the company while it is in the middle of its fifth official round of funding and …

  1. Imhotep

    You Can't Believe Everyting You See

    I think the company's statement is a tour de force in "augmented reality".

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    The scent

    The scent of death Magic Leap is emitting is officially too strong to ignore.

    1. Blackjack

      Re: The scent

      You could eveb call it a leap into the bottom of a cliff.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: The scent

      death Magic Leap

      I assume that this is an even more esoteric from of Death Metal.. Maybe with the cookie-monster vocals being replaced with a largely-inaudible whimpering and the usual screeching guitars being replaced with a single mandolin being played far, far away?

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    The rats...

    are MagicLeaping from the s(t)inking ship.

  4. FozzyBear Silver badge

    When the PHB's even realise that things are bad and start abandoning H.M.A.S Sinking Ship

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    John Gaeta has left

    That is not the kind of talent you can ignore, and leaving is very clear sign that MagicLeap is foundering, badly.

    Abovitz can emit all the altered-reality mails he wishes, Reality (TM) is not going to be ignored.

    He's going to sink with his ship shouting that a miracle is going to happen right up to the minute the water drowns his voice out.

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: John Gaeta has left

      |He's going to sink with his ship

      I imagine he's got a solid-gold liferaft further weighed down with pallet-loads of cash though.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "That is not the kind of talent you can ignore"

      Especially when your demo are fake and exactly built like the "special effects" in a movie. And you need some recognized name to get the funds.

      But IMHO that's not the talent they need to solve the basic problems for a working VR/AR they didn't solve yet.

      The iPhone didn't need rounded corners and not even stylish apps - it needed first a working multi-touch screen. Then everything could be built on top of it - and sure, then you need people with the right skills to exploit it to deliver an appealing product.

      It looks to me MagicLeap doesn't have the hardware to run whatever Matrix-like dream they may have.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: it needed first a working multi-touch screen.

        Which already existed! Apple's magic sauce was selling the phone via operators with decent data plans. For the previous 8 years smartphone data had been charged by second connection time or per megabyte, mostly business customers. It was the first really consumer orientated smartphone. It didn't rely on any new unproved technology. Other phones used resistive due to:

        1) Most GUIs not designed for finger, but stylus. Tile based GUIs existed but rare.

        2) Assumption that stylus based annotation and handwriting recognition was very important. Phones used as much for data input and even fax. Apple was for browsing and consumption thus high resolution stylus not needed. Even today you need dual wacom or resistive with Capacitive touch to have precision input. Multi-touch capacitive or IR or acoustic is low resolution.

        1. Tom Graham

          Re: it needed first a working multi-touch screen.

          Functioning capacitive multi-touch screens were new, and that plus the amazingly intuitive touch interface that Apple developed to run on them was what changed the world. One would nor work without the other.

          I had Nokia and Windows mobile GUI phones with resistive touch screens and they were awful, horrible things to use.

  6. IGotOut

    Looking at that job title...

    Couldn't they have shortened it to Chief Creative Accounting Officer?

  7. IceC0ld Silver badge

    obligatory TITSUP add here :o)

    T - hey

    I - ndeed,

    T - otally

    S - ank

    U - ser

    P - roduct

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: obligatory TITSUP add here :o)

      Totally

      Imagined

      Technology

      Suffers

      Unforeseen

      Plight

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Sing after me ....... "Money makes the work go round, the world go round, the world go round ..."*

    There is a good reason why people compare Magic Leap to fake blood testing company Theranos - and it’s not because there is no functional product. Magic Leap does have a product, just not a very good one.

    Is a more valid comparison the one that mentions WeWork as the base model upsetting apple cart?

    * And it's an idiotic deaf, dumb and bling leader easily defrauded and groomed and thus always readily available as a Juicy Lucy target for practice on/in AWEsome Experimental Operations.

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Sing after me ....... "Money makes <etc>

      It's funny you should mention WeWork. I was about to ask if Softbank were involved in all these funding rounds since they seem to like investing massive amounts of cash in money furnaces(tm) like WeWork (or at least companies where it's not clear how they will get their RoI after an eye watering take over premium).

      According to this Softbank weren't involved in the Magic Leap fund raisings. Imagine being such obvious vapour ware that even Softbank aren't interested!

      1. Imhotep

        Re: Sing after me ....... "Money makes <etc>

        Tell me more about Money Furnaces: I'm a VC that just may have some money to burn, and it sounds like you may have a more efficient way to do it.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Sing after me ....... "Money makes <etc>

          I have a money furnace under development. $10M or so would see me to a working product. Let's talk.

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: Sing after me ....... "Money makes <etc>

            Ignore this loser, my money furnace is the real thing - it only gets out of bed for a $20 billion investment.

      2. Irongut

        Re: Sing after me ....... "Money makes <etc>

        Are Magic Leap a money furnace or perhaps a money washing machine?

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    "moved from being an IF company to a WHEN company "

    That of course being when it finally goes bankrupt of course.

    Don't feel sorry for the CFO though. Like the other members of the C suite you can bet he was "appropriately" rewarded for his "skillz".

    That me walking out the door.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "moved from being an IF company to a WHEN company "

      Yes, even for a C-suite soundbite this one was particularly infelicitous.

      I see ML moving from an IF company to a WHEN company to a WAS company. In the not-too-distant future.

  10. eldakka Silver badge

    “I firmly believe that Magic Leap has moved from being an IF company to a WHEN company and is destined for success and will continue to shape the spatial computing market,” Henry was quoted as saying.

    The word believe in the above quote renders the entire statement to meaningless marketing drivel that can't be relied on for anything other than from concluding that because it is meaningless drivel rather than concrete factual information, then the company must be in trouble therefore avoid at all costs.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Pie in the sky safe harbour disclaimers?

      eldakka,

      Is the following not a standard inclusion in all tales of enterprise reliant on foreign and second and third party investment ..... and continued banking sector support aiding and abetting further entrenchment ...... which is nothing at all like progress?

      This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to potential future losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, commercial agreements and strategic alliances, seasonality, potential fluctuations in operating results and rate of growth, foreign exchange rates, management of potential growth, system interruption, international expansion, consumer trends, inventory, fulfillment center optimization, limited operating history, government regulation and taxation, fraud, and new business areas.

      More information about factors that potentially could affect xyz.com's financial results is included in xyz.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2..., and all subsequent filings.

      It's imagined and treated like a Stay out of Jail Free card whenever one is into the Conspiratorially Crooked and Catastrophically Corrupt

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Pie in the sky safe harbour disclaimers?

        "More information about factors that potentially could affect xyz.com's financial results is included "

        That would be the final statement ' We will never have the product we said we would have'.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    chief financial officer

    if I saw my company's head beancounter jump the boat,I'd pack my bags really, REALLY quick!

  12. Stam

    Groundhog Day

    Years ago when I first saw the whale video I thought "Well this is... fishy".

    I've had to be the grumpy one in too many meetings pointing out why this product can't do what the adverts claim (MS I'm looking at you too).

    When this company finally goes bust I have a thousand Michael Scott 'Thank You' GIFs to mail out.

  13. &rew

    A question:

    This company has been around for less than nine years, and been fed nigh on $3 billion. What on earth can someone spend that much money on? On what was the Forbes valuation of $5.4 billion based? Could it all have been spent on advertising, and hiring big names to promote it?

    If most companies/countries spent $3 billion on actual research facilities and hiring the best minds, they'd surely have something (worthwhile) to show for it by now?

    I keep thinking of the fairly low-key adverts for Moltex energy, and what they are trying to produce, and how far they could get with a multi-billion dollar investment.

    1. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: A question:

      Tech bubbles, some companies manage to operate in them, others become them. Magic Leap has been one from the start but "innovation pioneers" have thrown money at it, probably mostly other people's money and will shortly reap the pain.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What on earth can someone spend that much money on?"

    Bolivian marching powder and hookers. Really good hookers.

    1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge
      Joke

      You are John McAfee and I claim my fiver.

    2. Benson's Cycle
      Alien

      The going rate appears to be about $140 000 or £120 000 (everything is a bit cheaper in the US.) Not enough to explain it all.

      I think you missed an all-black spacecraft in there. That will get rid of a few billion very quickly.

  15. Mage Silver badge
  16. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Joke

    I've figured it out . . .

    "Theranos" is Greek for Magic Leap.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Translation of the C-level Sales/Marketing Speak.

    The 'IF' 'WHEN' statement is not very clear ...... which is the point...... I think !!!!

    What it really means is ...

    "IF the company runs out of excuses and 'Bad Demos' it will go bust !!!"

    Has turned to ...

    "WHEN the company runs out of excuses and 'Bad Demos' it will be bust, which I think is coming 'real soon' !!!"

    Sub text:

    "Thanks for the silly salary and the stock options etc .... I am now leaving and cashing out everything I can before the company is worthless"

    " So long and thanks for all the fish !!!"

  18. sbt Silver badge
    Devil

    So management have finally cracked the problem...

    ... of how to be sitting on the VC money when the music stops. It won't be long now.

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