Xbox boss Marc Whitten quits Microsoft

Chief product officer for Xbox on his way out, will become an executive at Sonos.

Microsoft veteran Marc Whitten, who worked as chief product officer and corporate vice president for the Xbox team, is leaving Microsoft to join Sonos also as its chief product officer.

The news was announced today on the Xbox Wire. Whitten joined Microsoft right out of college, beginning his career at the company as a software developer for Windows 2000. He joined the Xbox team in 2000 and helped launch the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Whitten also helped Microsoft launch Xbox Live

“I have had the extreme pleasure over the last 14 years to work on the greatest product with the greatest team and for the greatest community,” Whitten said in a statement. “Xbox is so special because of the amazing team I’ve had the opportunity to work with and because our fans are the most incredible fans on the planet. 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.”

Whitten's decision to exit Microsoft will not affect the remainder of the Xbox leadership team. Going forward, Whitten's staffers will report to executive vice president Terry Myerson, who oversees all Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox software and platform development. In a statement of his own, Myerson said he looks forward to finding a "great replacement" for Whitten.

Xbox marketing executive Yusuf Mehdi said Whitten played a "pivotal role" in building out the Xbox business over the past 14 years and has been a "great partner for me personally."

If you want to play against Whitten on Xbox Live, his gamertag is notwen.

Whitten is not the only high-ranking gaming executive to leave his post recently. Last week, veteran Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) president and CEO Jack Tretton announced his departure from the PlayStation company.

[CORRECTION] An earlier version of this story stated that the entire Xbox leadership team would report to Myerson going forward. GameSpot regrets the error.

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eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
216 comments
Sam_021
Sam_021

Blame the Nokia dude!

wrestlingdude
wrestlingdude

Hated this fat ass anyway, he only pretended to play games, he didn't deserve to be in the Xbox division. Another "ego jumper." 

xboxoneanddone
xboxoneanddone

Looks like he should be called mark quitten anyone?? Crickets everywhere.... sad face

Vojtass
Vojtass

This guy is hillarious. He was so proud, that XB360 will get Internet Explorer.

Next stop: ZYNGA. :D

tomtutt
tomtutt

Strangely, Nintendo execs seem to be quite content with their jobs.

_Silent_Jay_
_Silent_Jay_

@ggregd @tomtutt ... and rarely, if ever, actually change their business strategy deside evidence to the contrary.

Seriously, though, people leave Nintendo all the time, but the old guard traditionalists live by a different code.  A lot of the elder Japanese businessmen, like CEOs and such, actually subscribe to ideal from the Buishido code, but translated to the way of the corporation.  Once they die out, Japan will likely be more like the west.

ggregd
ggregd

@tomtutt  They just take pay cuts and apologize profusely.

SaQu1B
SaQu1B

@tomtutt  You realize that in Japan... you basically get a lifetime contract and can't be fired. That is why no Nintendo execs ever "quit"

stickybun
stickybun

I think this is actually a good thing. Get some younger blood in there. Someone who's a little more aware of the marketplace.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

I'm glad to see everybody continue to leave that was associated with the First version of the XB1. They are all to blame for the ideas of "always on always connected, Always requires kinect". If MS can get some people in there that understand their core customers they will be much better for it. This new gen is exactly that new. All MS has to do is change a few more things and I think they can even close the gap.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@spartanx169x He was also there for the Xbox and the 360. Its not like he just showed up and screamed for always online like Mattrick did. He did good things for the brand over the years and helped push online gaming to the mainstream.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

The storm's coming, everybody's jumping ship. 

We're on the brink of another Video Game Crisis.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@Ripper_TV The videogame market is contracting. This is true. But its been due for a contraction for a long time now. The AAA business model is not sustainable and devs and publishers are looking for something else to be profitable.

Albaficas
Albaficas

no wonder

with the ps4 dominating worldwide and having nothing but praise in the world

its logical all these nabs at MS leaving 

waxcriminal
waxcriminal

@Albaficas Are you kidding me? Sony is a fart in space compared to Microsoft.
  Sony is a company in decline

Vodoo
Vodoo

Good Riddance! Get all these assholes, that screwed the XB1 up, out! I've had enough of these pricks trying to rip gamers off with nickel & diming and not having gamers interests in mind when making a GAME console.

I wish they could bring back the actual people from the original Xbox that were gamers themselves, like Ed Fries, J. Allard and Robbie Bach. They pioneered the Xbox until the "suits" dug their claws in.

zanychelly
zanychelly

@Vodoo  Phill Spencer as Xbox CEO would be great, if he brings back J.Allard would be dream. 

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

you see i dont know weather this shows the incompetence of MS, dismal sales of the xbone, the fact that he just wanted to leave or hidden shenanigans that we aren't aware of.  all im going to say is this, if major nelson leaves the only other real big name MS has and i owned share sin MS i would be shitting bricks about now. 

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Got to admit having big names in the business just leave is quite unsettling. Does almost feel like they were high on their own success what with the original Xbox not dying like everyone said it would and the Xbox 360 being the go to console for most of last generation. 

But now that the trend of up and up has been kind of dulled a little, it does seem a little suspect. I mean if the trend of the Xbox consoles was anything to go by so far, then they should have DESTROYED PS4 out of the gate. But they didn't, can't deny they aren't that far behind and it probably has been the best launch ever but the timing just seems odd to me.

I guess that is why you don't trend fit using only two data points?

Zombrex
Zombrex

Mark my words, there will be another gaming crash like there was in 1983. That's why all these execs are jumping ship.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Zombrex  Problem with that is in the gaming crash there were way too many games and no one wanted to buy them because they were all shit.

There are only three consoles and a PC and the handhelds and people are all still buying them, by the million. I understand where you are going, having big names ditch is kind of weird (or not since we don't talk to these people on a day to day basis, he may have been planning it for years) but I doubt it is something of that magnitude.

rasterror
rasterror

Let get this straight: Tretton leaves a company in the midst of another massive loss and mass layoff and all is fine. Whitten leaves a company in the midst of massive profits and MS is a sinking ship. Am I missing something or did I need to smoke something to get the logistics of the situation?

rasterror
rasterror

@torrne667 @rasterror I'm not picking sides, I just don't get Sony fanboy logic. Fanboys are bad in general but Sony fanboys are a special breed.

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

@rasterror @torrne667  i cant stand any fan boy =/ just dont see the point, support all gaming companies instead and keep the industry alive 

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

@torrne667 @rasterror  True, Like i said they will more than likely seperate Playstation into it's own thing if they have to, after all Playstation and it's movie sector are all that make money and investors have been calling for it to happen for a while but then again Sony's tv's are started to look good and are finally priced correctly was looking at getting one the other day and all reviews say it's good which you wouldn't have heard last year xD 

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

@rasterror @torrne667  honestly microsoft fan boys are just as bad =/ I just hate all fan boys it's no use talking realistically with them because they don't wanna hear it, they just believe Sony and Microsoft care about them as an individual for whatever reason O.o 

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@rasterror Well it could be a good thing if he was behind the problems plaguing the Xbox One (backstabbing  and underhanded tactics)

torrne667
torrne667

@rasterror THIS^^^^they cannot survive off the playstation division income, they are syphoning money from all other divisions unfortunately :/   It IS a shame like but you cannot pump money into something if you are going to sell at a loss...its just BAD BUSINESS

torrne667
torrne667

@rasterror  Its comedy isnt it, people who are supporting a company who are consistantly losing money are diverting the pain towards trolling a profitable company with a great new product, blissfully unaware that they could be owning a "50 dollar cheaper!!" paperweight lol.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@uchihasilver @rasterror@torrne667 The development of the PS3 cost them billions upon billions. Ken Kutaragi funneled money from other departments to PS3 development. Moves like this cost him his position as a president of Sony. Not only that the cost of the ps3 was enormous.

Not only this Sony themselves said that the ps4 will have to sell great for 2 years before they make up the development costs for the ps4. They are hurting in a big way.

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

@torrne667 @rasterror  Sony's playstation division makes money >.> and if they have to they will seperate it from the parent company, but still im sure both whitten and tretton just wanted something new tbh

linthes999
linthes999

Ah, Whitten..  Sonos isn't Sony! You done goofed!

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

wow a lot of big people from a lot of gaming companies have been leaving lately, i wonder what's up?. well it could all be coincidence but i just have that gut feeling there more too it

StokeMeAClipper
StokeMeAClipper

Wonder how many more big names are going to walk (not just MS). Also makes me wonder if there are rumblings within the industry.

I can imagine looking back in a few years time and thinking that there were signs of...

Wintermist
Wintermist

Newsflash: People move on to new adventures (jobs) all the time.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@Wintermist  But in such conveniently large numbers? If all the top execs at Disney, Marvel and Pixar suddenly up and left and got jobs at companies that were beneath them, that wouldn't throw up a red flag to you?

Shouoken4Peace
Shouoken4Peace

"Hmm... what's Sonos?" *googles Sonos* "err... uh... okaaaay..."