Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft, is joining struggling augmented reality (AR) start-up Magic Leap as its CEO, the company announced.
Johnson, who will begin her new role on August 1, comes to Magic Leap after a 30-year career at the highest levels of technology and business at Microsoft and chip giant Qualcomm.
“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,” said Johnson.
“It is with great pride and sincere appreciation to the Magic Leap Board, Rony Abovitz (Magic Leap founder) and the entire team, as well as to Satya Nadella at Microsoft, that I assume the role of leading this visionary business into the future,” she added.
Since its founding in 2011, Magic Leap has pioneered the field of spatial computing. Magic Leap’s spatial computing wearable, Magic Leap 1, is the most advanced XR device on the market.
Magic Leap competes directly with Microsoft’s own HoloLens augmented-reality technology.
However, in April, the troubled company laid off nearly 600 of its 1,900-strong workforce.
Johnson brings to Magic Leap a proven track record of leading and growing businesses, building strategic partnerships and executing successful transactions.
In her recent role at Microsoft, she oversaw the development, collaboration, and growth of Microsoft’s relationships with external partners and enterprises of all sizes around the world.
She also led Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, M12, where she identified compelling strategic investment opportunities and worked closely with companies to unlock value and drive growth.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2014, Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm, where she held various leadership positions, and served as a member of Qualcomm’s Executive Committee.
“As Magic Leap drives towards commercializing spatial computing for enterprise, I can’t think of a better and more capable leader than Peggy Johnson to carry our mission forward,” said Abovitz, Founder and Magic Leap’s first CEO.