Google parent company Alphabet announced in a press release Monday that scientist Frances Arnold would join the company's board of directors effective immediately.
In a tweet, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that "Frances brings incredible academic and industry expertise" and that he looks forward to looking with her.
Arnold currently works at the California Institute of Technology and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for her work developing a novel method of bioengineering that is "used in hundreds of laboratories and companies that make everything from laundry detergents to biofuels to medicines," according to a press release from the school.
The move marks Pichai's first official move as Alphabet CEO, a role he recently stepped into when Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced their resignation as Alphabet CEO and president, respectively.
Page and Brin both remain on Alphabet's board and maintain controlling shares of the company.
According to a report from The Information, the augmented reality startup and Silicon Valley darling only sold approximately 6,000 units of its $2,300 Magic Leap One Creator Edition mixed-reality headset through the first six months that it was available.
The Information writes CEO Rony Abovitz had told investors he hoped the company would sell "at least" 1 million units of the Magic Leap One in its first year of availability.
Sales of the headset, however, have been so poor that the company recently started giving employees free units.
Understandably, poor sales have strained Magic Leap, with The Information reporting that the company recently laid off "dozens" of employees across multiple departments.
Newly-minted Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly left the company's board sometime last year.
Jaunt, another startup that had a lot of hype behind it, recently sold all its tech to Verizon (Engadget's parent company).
Magic Leap just announced that they’re in the midst of closing a series E round of funding, but it sounds like they’re going to have to clinch that investment with some pretty troubling sales numbers for their only device on the market.
The Information‘s Alex Heath is reporting that Magic Leap managed to sell just 6,000 units of its $2,300 Magic Leap One headset in its first six months on sale, a figure made worse by CEO Rony Abovitz’s internal claims that he wanted the startup to sell at least one million units of the device in the first year, a goal the report states he was later convinced to rethink, then internally projecting the company would sell 100,000 units in the first year.
There aren’t many sales figures out there being shared for existing AR headsets on the market, but Magic Leap has also raised and spent more than any other startup to release their first device.