Magic Leap Appoints New CEO: Microsoft Executive Peggy Johnson

Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, Peggy Johnson, is Magic Leap’s new CEO.

Johnson, who also previously worked at Qualcomm, will lead the heavily-invested augmented reality company from August 1. Magic Leap’s hunt for a new CEO began in May when founder and figurehead Rony Abovitz stepped down from the role following a significant round of layoffs for the company.

“Magic Leap’s technological foundation is undeniable, and there is no question that has the potential to shape the future of XR and computing,” Johnson said in a blog post announcing the news.

Johnson joins the company following a recent shift in focus for its $2,295 Magic Leap One headset, which projects virtual images into real-world environments through a pair of transparent lenses. Originally aimed at consumers and featuring apps made by famous developers such as Insomniac Games, the company pivoted its hardware more towards enterprise customers at the end of last year following reports of slow sales.

“As CEO, I look forward to strategically building enduring relationships that connect Magic Leap’s game-changing technology and pipeline to the wide-ranging digital needs of enterprises of all sizes and industries,” Johnson added. As a former Microsoft executive, Johnson will already have experience in the field of AR, given that the company has produced two enterprise-level headsets, HoloLens and HoloLens 2, which are similar to Magic Leap One in capabilities.

Magic Leap is currently working on its second-generation product, Magic Leap 2, which hasn’t been revealed yet. A recent report stated that the device was targetting a 2021 release but, which the recent layoffs and changes in leadership, it’s unclear if that’s still the goal.

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