Dov Katz, the head of computer vision at Occulus – a Facebook subsidiary – was arrested in Seattle as a result of an undercover sting operation. Katz is accused of soliciting sex from a 15 year old girl who was actually an undercover officer. In response, Occulus has relieved Katz from his position and replaced it with Amir Frenkel – previously director of engineering at Facebook.
According to the police report, Katz contacted the 15 year old girl by text and wanted “girlfriend experience”. Once Katz showed up to the hotel room, he was arrested by the officers. He later told them:
“I was there to rescue her and to call the police”
The officers told him he should’ve called the police first. As if Chris Hansen hasn’t done enough episodes to scare sexual predators away, it seems that Katz was caught in a very vulnerable situation.
This arrest was in the midst of a major employee overhaul within Occulus. In December, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Brendan Iribe has announced that he will be stepping down from the company. According to a blog post, Iribe said that now that the company has grown he doesn’t get the chance to work on innovative product development. According to Iribe:
“With this new role, I can dive back into engineering and product development. That’s what gets me up every day, inspired to run to work.”
While it is true that Occulus is not at fault for Katz’ actions, it is still damaging to its reputation. However, Occulus has responded swiftly and with justice by firing and replacing the employee.
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