Uber Advanced Technologies Group hires Oculus platform lead Jon Thomason

Uber’s Advanced Technology Group has hired Jon Thomason, who most recently acted as Head of Mobile and Product at Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality company. Thomason will lead ATG software teams across Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto, working on ATG’s advanced software projects, including autonomous driving and trucking.

Thomason joined Oculus in 2016 as Head of Software, and assumed responsibility for its mobile VR products in December when Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe moved to a role overseeing PC-based VR and leaving the CEO position. Prior to that, Thomason was VP of Mobile Shopping at Amazon, and VP of Engineering at Qualcomm before that.

His experience has covered a range of different types of software applications, and he worked on Qualcomm’s application processor software team, focusing on the chipmaker’s capabilities around mobile graphics, camera and OS support. Thomason also oversaw Microsoft’s launch system software for its Xbox gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming service during his decade and a half at the Windows-maker. He also lead the kernel development process for Windows 95 while at Microsoft.

“We are very excited to welcome Jon to Uber ATG,” wrote Uber Head of ATG Eric Meyofer in a statement to TechCrunch. “His background in software engineering and his experience in launching innovative new products makes him a great fit for our team and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Thomason’s wide range of experience should provide a broad base from which to help guide Uber ATG’s software development plans. The company’s software projects include deep learning, computer vision, safety systems, security, autonomy, mapping and more. A flexible generalist like Thomason with lots of history working on software at the very base level is a great choice to lead such a complex and multifaceted product development effort.

Currently, Uber’s ATG team has more than 200 people working on software alone, according to the company. Thomason’s first day on the job is today, September 11.