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Google’s head of VR is Leaving to Start an AI Company

As Google looks toward the development of new AI tools it seems others have the same idea

Photo Credit: Kenny Eliason

After laying off 12,000 workers and announcing the development of more than 20 AI (Artificial Intelligence) products to battle competitors, it appears Google is preparing to transition into a phase where AI will be a top priority.

However, not everyone will be a part of the journey as Clay Bavor, Google’s vice president of its forward-looking Labs division has announced he is leaving the company to found an AI startup with “longtime friend Bret Taylor.”

Bavor took to LinkedIn to make the announcement where he shared how he’s known Bret since their “early days at Google,” adding that they both “share an obsession with recent advances in Al, and we’re excited to build a new company to apply Al to solve some of the most important problems in business.”

From VR to AI

After being appointed VP of Google Labs in 2021, Bavor oversaw Google’s Project Starline video chat booth and its Area 120 incubator. According to The Verge, Bavor was also in charge of an in-development AR headset at the company.

Bavor will be kicking off this new path with Bret Taylor, a former Meta CTO and former Co-CEO of Salesforce. “I’ll be setting out with Bret on this next adventure in March, and will have more to share once we get started. Until then, I’ll be focusing on transitioning my teams and projects, and wrapping things up properly at Google,” said Bavor.

According to spokesperson Chris Pappas, Google will not be replacing Bavor as it plans to move the Labs team to its Tech & Society organisation under James Manyika. Google will also split its AR work and will place much of it under the leadership of Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s platforms and ecosystems head, and Rick Osterloh, who leads devices and services.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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