The Departure of Marc Whitten From Microsoft
By Dan Maurer
In rather somber news recently, Microsoft Xbox One product chief Marc Whitten is leaving the company for Sonos Inc, the maker of wireless speaker systems. Marc will have the same title at Sonos, according to a company statement below.
“Following the launch of Xbox One, the most successful launch in Xbox history, and the recent launch of “Titanfall,” the most anticipated game of this generation, the Xbox team is sad to share today that Marc Whitten, chief product officer of Xbox, will be leaving the team to become chief product officer of Sonos,” said the statement announcing Marc’s departure.
Marc Whitten joined Microsoft in 1997 as a software design engineer for Windows 2000. He joined the Xbox team three years later in 2000 and went on to become Xbox chief product officer in 2010. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Studios, said “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marc for more than a decade and he has always led Xbox forward with a focus on our fans and delivering a platform that developers and creators can embrace to deliver incredible games and entertainment. We wish Marc well, while looking forward to the next chapter of Xbox.” He also was instrumental in building the Xbox Live content and gaming service, which now counts 48 million members in 41 countries, according to Microsoft.
“Marc played a pivotal role in building the Xbox business over the last 14 years and has been a great partner for me personally,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s CEO, said in a blog post Monday. “Marc has built a very strong and passionate team that has delivered innovative technology for game and entertainment fans.” Whitten’s departure comes after Don Mattrick, former president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, left the company last summer to become CEO of social-gaming company Zynga.
In a statement provided by Microsoft, Whitten said, “It has been the highlight of my career to work on a product so loved. It’s incredibly tough to leave but I am confident the best days are ahead for Xbox fans, in the capable hands of a very talented team.”
EDITORS NOTE: In my opinion the loss of Marc Whitten is a huge loss to Microsoft and the Xbox Division in general. Mr. Whitten has been there from the very beginning with the reveal of the Original Xbox back in 2001 up until his recent departure. Sono’s will gain greatly from his acquisition as he brings to the table almost 20 years of experience and knowledge, as he has helped grow Xbox Live to the juggernaut it is today. I wish Marc Whitten well in his new role at Sono’s and I hope he is able to help them grow as much as he did the Xbox division.
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