Magic Leap Hires Top Microsoft Executive as C.E.O.

SAN FRANCISCO — Magic Leap said on Tuesday that it had hired Peggy Johnson, a top executive at Microsoft, to be its chief executive, as the troubled augmented reality headset start-up shifts its focus from consumers to businesses.

Ms. Johnson, who starts at Magic Leap in August, is joining at a critical time for the once vaunted start-up. While Magic Leap had caused excitement with a virtual-reality headset intended to show people the technology’s abilities, the product arrived after many delays to lukewarm reviews, and sales fell short of expectations.

In December, Magic Leap announced plans to focus on selling technology to businesses rather than consumers, aligning more closely with Ms. Johnson’s experience at Microsoft.

In an interview on Monday, Ms. Johnson, 58, said she had reached out to Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap’s founder and chief executive, who had announced in May that he would step down. She said she saw opportunities in Magic Leap’s “spatial” technology, which projects digital images into the real world.

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