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Oculus co-founder leaves Facebook's VR unit

Palmer Luckey, the-co-founder of Facebook Inc.-owned virtual reality company Oculus, is leaving the company, a spokesperson confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence on March 31.

Reports of Luckey's departure began circulating earlier that day. It was unclear whether Luckey voluntarily left the company.

Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Luckey and Oculus itself have faced controversies recently. In September 2016, it was revealed that the 24-year-old Luckey had provided funding to a company that created memes supporting Donald Trump's presidential bid. Luckey apologized for his role in funding the memes supporting Trump in a Facebook post.

Earlier this year, Facebook was ordered to pay $500 million in damages to VR company ZeniMax Media Inc., after a jury found its VR operations guilty of patent infringement. The jury also found that Luckey had violated a non-disclosure agreement signed with ZeniMax when he developed early versions of Oculus' Rift headset. Facebook said in a recent SEC filing that it planned to appeal the lawsuit.

In March, Facebook slashed the price of the Oculus Rift and its Oculus Touch motion sensing controllers by $100, in what the company said was a bid to boost sales.

"Palmer will be dearly missed," Oculus said in a statement. "His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and build an industry. We're thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best."