Xbox multimedia exec quits Microsoft, citing company's change in direction

"It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets," Blair Westlake says.

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Xbox multimedia executive Blair Westlake has resigned from Microsoft because the company is moving in a direction not suited to his strengths, he confirmed in a statement to Hollywood news site Variety.

"It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets,” Westlake said in a statement. He attended the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show on Microsoft's behalf just last week.

Westlake, a former Universal Television chairman, joined Microsoft in 2004 where he spearheaded the company's media partnerships and oversaw licensing of TV shows and movies for Xbox platforms.

According to Variety, Westlake was one of Microsoft's "biggest champions" of online entertainment, and was instrumental in helping the Xbox platform become a destination for movies and TV, not just games.

Microsoft hired former CBS Television executive Nancy Tellem in 2012 to head up the company's Xbox Entertainment Studios, which will create exclusive video franchises for Xbox platforms. The first project from Xbox Entertainment Studios is a documentary series due out this year that will investigate the events surrounding the 1983 burial of millions of copies of Atari's famously unsuccessful E.T. movie tie-in.

Discussion

65 comments
Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

So this is the guy to blame for ruining xbox and making a cable box instead of a game console ? Good riddance !

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

so is xbox one a gaming console or a tv provider?

cirugo
cirugo

one more salary that could pay to someone that actually designs, you know, games?

hadlee73
hadlee73

Someone stole his sandwich from the staff fridge. I *hate* it when that happens.

franken_stein
franken_stein

Any change at MS is a good thing hopefully. Not because of the TV integration, that's fine I don't mind it at all. By all means make the console do as much as you can. But the overall PR and vision at MS can be improved upon.

surrealme
surrealme

My guess is that he was involved in Microsoft's goal of becoming an IPTV provider to compete with cable which may no longer be the case since the Xbox One integrates with existing cable services. That's a bit confusing though since they're still offering video on demand and now getting in to original programming. The Variety article this story links to is about as clear as mud.

CWhidmore
CWhidmore

I'm glad to hear that Microsoft is finally moving in the right direction. It was a bad idea to include gaming as part of the Xbox One to begin with whereas it served as nothing more than a distraction from the cable box aspect of the console. All the Sony fanboys will finally have to shut up and admit that the Xbox One is the superior cable receiver.

Paulf001
Paulf001

His statement doesn't make any sense if his job was to license TV and Movies for Xbox, since that is what MS is doing with Xbox One, more TV, Sports, and movies.

xcollector
xcollector

So Microsoft is changing a game box into a tv box. This guy was one of the people who help destroy the game box with all the media crap. It was his job to do tv & movie stuff. Somehow Microsoft changing the system from a game box to a tv box is the wrong direction for this guys job? So is Microsoft changing a wrong direction into a worse direction?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Sounds like they're moving in the right direction if a guy who cared more about media than games is quitting.

Upat3am
Upat3am

I just tossed my xbone out the window after reading this.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

The clown car that is MS' XBOX division continues to lose Bozos...

rabbitcancer
rabbitcancer

and the bleed away from gaming continues.  (singing) soooo glaaaad i weent with Sooonnnyyy this tiiime.

berserker66666
berserker66666

"It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets," Blair Westlake says" How can it? When MIcroscam makes Xbone into TV and Sports mode.

June-GS
June-GS

"...investigate the events surrounding the 1983 burial of millions of copies of Atari's famously unsuccessful E.T. movie tie-in..." -- Ooohh......

Falconoffury
Falconoffury

Since Microsoft seems to be moving toward more movies and TV, you would think this guy is exactly what Microsoft can use.

Karchy
Karchy

"..was instrumental in helping the Xbox platform become a destination for movies and TV, not just games."

So he's the one to be blamed. Grab your torches and pitchforks!!

pszone
pszone

Microsoft sucks big time and  know they want to do something else to try to  beat PS4. 

they lost a lot Microsoft fans over xbox1 console and name feels like first Xbox ever done loll.

MonstaTruk
MonstaTruk

"When someone shows you who they are, you better believe 'em..."

I don't know what's been going on behind closed doors at Microsoft...HELL, maybe it's the stuff RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACE (Ed Snowden)...but for a FORMER SEASONED CBS CHAIRMAN/MARKETING EXECUTIVE, (not the janitor) to leave a business because of..."ethics/morals"? Yikes... :o

toecutter00
toecutter00

"It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets,"

That's never stopped a Microsoft exec before.  The only skill that seems to be required, and is pretty difficult to master, is the ability to put one's foot in one's mouth. 

Armyboy5
Armyboy5

so who's left?


South Park should make an episode about the reality behind microsoft, which is the fact that it's actually being run by ghosts.

deadpen
deadpen

@cirugo I'm sorry and I may seem rude but I'm really not trying to be. I am a Xbone owner and I do not understand the this word "games" could you please provide a definition.... or are you a wordsmith making up words?

deadpen
deadpen

@CWhidmore Pssssss only 10% of the registered GS users will understand LMFAO.

franken_stein
franken_stein

@CWhidmore Sarcasm wow lol. It is never a bad thing when your gaming console is made to do more. And The Xbox One and the PS4's capabilities will grow over time. I mean come on you cant deny that the PS4 does more than just play games. Sony already has integrated and is currently looking to expand on PS4's TV/video capabilities or did you not get that memo?


Funny thing is Sony knows it's a good thing to have the PS4 be as big of a part of all your media needs that it can be, yet Sony fans just want  games, games, games, games, games, games, games, games, games, games, games, games.((my guess is that is because of a direct correlation with the avg. PS4 users age)). Sony is still pursuing new TV/vid capabilities and contracts with business partners.


And Sony fans always said Sony listens to their fans???


Well all the Sony users on here keep simplistically berating a console for doing more than just playing games, which one could assume then that means Sony fans just want a pure game console nothing else. Just plays games that's it. Sony wants the PS4 to do more than just play games, so then that means Sony doesn't listen to their fans? Or do they and the Sony fans on here have zero credibility? It cant be both.

blackace
blackace

@xcollectorTotal opposite. They are already all set with the TV, Music, Video, & Cable stuff. Probably focusing more on games and online gaming entertainment. Something this guy has no idea about.

blackace
blackace

@rabbitcancerNothing about this article says they are moving away from gaming. Most like the opposite if employees who worked in Media & TV are leaving.

mattress805
mattress805

He's one of the many reasons I switched to ps4 this gen and I don't regret that decision one bit. I still have my 360 and xbox live gold so I can play any last gen titles. (Dark souls)

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

@Armyboy5 - South Park are firmly in the Microsoft "camp"....so if they were to depict it, it wouldn't be ghosts. it would be some really positive spin on the situation

CWhidmore
CWhidmore

@franken_stein Whoa bro relax, no I'm totally on your side, I agree game should take a backseat to being able to have an HDMI pass through so i can turn on my Xbox One AND my cable box or satellite receiver at the SAME TIME! And yeah I know Sony keeps trying to force other media into their console too, but it just doesn't make sense I mean Sony doesn't have record labels, film production companies, tv production companies, they don't make TVs, home audio receivers, mobile electronic devices, etc like Microsoft does, it just doesn't make sense.

deadpen
deadpen

@kyncani @Paulf001 I think it is as ALL people that "leave" their job. You know the guy that is a support leader or team leader and on monday he is on the line working. You ask "what happen" and they all say "I was tired of the crap and told them I didn't want the leadership position." Cause you know nobody is demoted, laid off, let go, or fired.

blackace
blackace

@mattress805PS4 has movies, TV and cable as well. So, you're not moving away from it at all.

mattress805
mattress805

No I'm just moving away from the shitty direction Microsoft has been moving towards the last couple years. I.e. Crappy motion controls with Kinect, casual gaming with the proliferation of Kinect titles, TV TV TV., breaking exclusivity ties with good publishers like Bungie, having good studios like Rare focusing on dashboard avatars. The list goes on and on. PS4 is targeted to hard-core gamers like me. Xbox one us NOT.