Peggy Johnson, who has worked at Microsoft and Qualcomm, will be the CEO of struggling virtual reality company Magic Leap.

July 7, 2020

4 Min Read

Magic Leap today announced the appointment of Peggy Johnson, a veteran tech executive and Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft, as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective August 1, 2020. In her new role, Ms. Johnson will draw on more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels of technology and business to accelerate Magic Leap's growth and bring transformative enterprise solutions to market.

In addition to her technical background as an electrical engineer, Ms. 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, Ms. Johnson 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.

"Since its founding in 2011, Magic Leap has pioneered the field of spatial computing, and I have long admired the relentless efforts and accomplishments of this exceptional team. Magic Leap's technological foundation is undeniable, and there is no question that has the potential to shape the future of XR and computing," said Ms. Johnson.

"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," explained Ms. Johnson. "It is with great pride and sincere appreciation to the Magic Leap Board, Rony 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."

Prior to joining Microsoft in 2014, Ms. Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm, where she held various leadership positions, and served as a member of Qualcomm's Executive Committee. Today, Ms. Johnson serves on the Board of Directors of BlackRock, Inc., and has been recognized by multiple organizations, including as Business Insider's "#1 Most Powerful Female Engineer in 2017," one of Silicon Republic's "40 Powerful Women Leading Tech Around the World" and a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee by Women in Technology International.

Rony Abovitz, Founder and Magic Leap's first Chief Executive Officer of Magic Leap, said, "As a company that has been a leader in transforming what will become the next era of computing, we have been fortunate to have a number of extremely qualified candidates express interest in the position of CEO. However, as soon as Peggy raised her hand there was no question in my mind, or the Board's, that she was absolutely the best person to lead this company into the future. 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."

"We have come a long way, from starting up in my garage to creating a new medium and redefining the future of computing. Now, under Peggy, who brings with her to Magic Leap three decades of experience identifying and executing strategic partnerships at the highest levels of business, Magic Leap can take another giant step forward in our journey," said Mr. Abovitz. "On behalf of the Magic Leap Board, I want to thank our investors for their continued support and partnership. We have strong confidence and belief in Peggy's ability to lead Magic Leap forward as the Company focuses on commercial success."

About Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson most recently served as Executive Vice President of Business Development at Microsoft, where she was responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Microsoft and its customers. In this role, she also managed Microsoft's relationship with the venture capital community and oversaw strategic investments through the company's corporate venture fund, M12. At M12, Ms. Johnson worked with external partners around the world, ranging from start-ups to large-scale enterprises, to identify areas of collaboration, drive innovation and unlock shared value. Before joining Microsoft in 2014, Ms. Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm, where she held various leadership positions across engineering, sales, marketing and business development. She also served as a member of the Executive Committee and ran Qualcomm's Internet Services business unit. Prior to Qualcomm, she worked as an engineer for General Electric's Military Electronics Division. Ms. Johnson received her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University and currently serves on the board of directors for BlackRock, Inc., and on the advisory board for the nonprofit Huntington's Disease Society of America San Diego Chapter. She has been recognized by multiple organizations, including Business Insider ("#1 Most Powerful Female Engineer in 2017"), Silicon Republic ("40 Powerful Women Leading Tech Around the World"), Connected World Magazine ("2014 Women of M2M List"), Women in Technology International ("2013 Hall of Fame Award") and STEM ("100 Women Leaders in STEM, 2012″).

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