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Xbox VP Marc Whitten leaves Microsoft

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#1 trooper11

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 23:50

Xbox VP Marc Whitten leaves Microsoft

By Michael McWhertor on Mar 17, 2014 at 7:36p

 

Marc Whitten, chief product officer for Xbox, is leaving Microsoft after 14 years with the company, according to an announcement posted to Xbox.com.

 

"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 is leaving Microsoft to join Sonos, a consumer electronics company, as chief product officer.

 

According to Microsoft, the rest of the Xbox leadership team will remain intact, and Whitten's team, including Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer and Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi, will report to Terry Myerson. Myerson is the executive vice president that oversees the teams building the software and experiences for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

 

Whitten was scheduled to appear at this week's Game Developers Conference to take part in a "fireside chat" about Microsoft's ID@Xbox program for independent developers. He has since been replaced on that panel by Phil Spencer.

 

http://www.polygon.c...eaves-microsoft

 

 

Best Wishes to Marc Whitten as He Departs Xbox
By Xbox Wire Staff posted March 17, 2014 at 4:15 PM
 
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.

Marc joined the Xbox team in 2000 and delivered three console generations, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox, along with helping to build Xbox Live and making it one of the world's top online communities with 48 million members in 41 countries. Xbox One is off to the hottest start in Xbox history, Xbox 360 has sold 80 million consoles and the original Xbox sold 25 million units. Many of you have enjoyed his letters to the community over the years and playing with him on 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,” said Whitten. “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.”

Phil Spencer, 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.”

The remainder of the Xbox leadership team will remain intact and Marc’s team will report to Terry Myerson, executive vice president that oversees the teams building the software platform and experiences for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.  “I’m thankful for Marc’s leadership on Xbox and the incredible team he’s helped build,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the operating systems group. “I look forward to working with Yusuf, Phil and the rest of the team to find a great replacement.”

“Marc played a pivotal role in building the Xbox business over the last 14 years and has been a great partner for me personally,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, “Marc has built a very strong and passionate team that has delivered innovative technology for game and entertainment fans. Our fans will continue to inspire us to do great work on their behalf.”

You can continue to play with Marc on Xbox Live under the gamertag notwen.

 

http://news.xbox.com...es-marc-whitten

 

Pretty big news, it'll be very interesting to see who steps in his place long term. A lot of changes going on at MS.

For now Terry Myerson will step in and the rest of the Xbox team stays the same, just reporting to him, so we will see what impact this has, if anything.

Sounds like Marc got a pretty good job though, so the best of luck to him.




#2 Brendeth

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 23:58

Interesting, well best of luck to him at Sonos. I sure hope that Microsoft manages to pick up another person like Phil Spencer for this role.

Edit: Just seen your update on Myerson filling in, I had to look him up but it seems like he should do a good job for the moment.



#3 aviator189

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:04

I'm just glad that phil spencer is still on board the xbox team.  



#4 Andrew

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:26

As much as I would like to say I'm glad he's gone, I can't, simply because it's one less gamer that is in charge of the division and that's never a good thing. Same goes for Tretton leaving Sony, his replacememnt seems to be another suit. Marc (and others) screwed up with the X1 last year but at least he knows the business and would be able to set it straight like the team at Sony did with PS3. Makes you wonder how the hell Reggie and Iwata have managed to last this long.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more leaving MS in the coming months as the reorganisation continues.



#5 Showan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:26

For some reason, It doesn't worry me that Whitten is leaving. Spencer can stay, he seems decent for now. Microsoft really needs to track down J-Allard, Give him a blank check, and let him run free.

The Xbox can be special (very special IMHO). But Microsoft is it's own worst enemy...

#6 BajiRav

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:37

WTF?!
I hope Myreson runs Xbox as tight as he has run Windows Phone, which despite market response is an excellent product.

As much as I would like to say I'm glad he's gone, I can't, simply because it's one less gamer that is in charge of the division and that's never a good thing. Same goes for Tretton leaving Sony, his replacememnt seems to be another suit. Marc (and others) screwed up with the X1 last year but at least he knows the business and would be able to set it straight like the team at Sony did with PS3. Makes you wonder how the hell Reggie and Iwata have managed to last this long.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more leaving MS in the coming months as the reorganisation continues.

He always seemed more involved and tuned in than say Don Mattrick or Yusuf Mehdi. Yusuf Mehdi needs to go IMHO.

#7 Showan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:42

As much as I would like to say I'm glad he's gone, I can't, simply because it's one less gamer that is in charge of the division and that's never a good thing. Same goes for Tretton leaving Sony, his replacememnt seems to be another suit. Marc (and others) screwed up with the X1 last year but at least he knows the business and would be able to set it straight like the team at Sony did with PS3. Makes you wonder how the hell Reggie and Iwata have managed to last this long.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more leaving MS in the coming months as the reorganisation continues.


Whitten, was starting become suit'ish (yep just made that up now) I know as you get promoted and such, your role changes. But who your catering to doesn't. Video games is probably the most different thing at Microsoft than just about any of their other products. When you try to push Xbox into an business environment because of Skype, you have already lost your way. Give Spencer the promotion and let's see where he takes things. Myerson is a geek so that's a positive. But not all gamers are geeks, and not all geeks are gamers.

#8 Showan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:45

WTF?!
. Yusuf Mehdi needs to go IMHO.


THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.... you can honestly tell, that Yusuf has no clue of who his target audience is...

#9 George P

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:46

There comes a time when the old folks step away and new people take over.  The thing is, the Xbox team shouldn't have been off on it's own doing whatever it wanted to begin with, it made no sense.  That's why the XB1 missteps happened before the launch.   Since Xbox is another platform that runs games and soon more apps if they open it up, it makes more sense for the OS group to have oversight IMO.  That means the tools and services that run on Xbox, Windows and WP will work better together than before.   After that, when it comes to games, it's whoevers in charge of the studios to handle that and push first party titles forward.



#10 Andrew

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 00:57

He always seemed more involved and tuned in than say Don Mattrick or Yusuf Mehdi. Yusuf Mehdi needs to go IMHO.

 

Agreed, Yusuf is an absolute disaster for them. Don started out well but I suspect a lot of what he overseen in the beginning was already set up and he had little to do with. The closer to 2010 it got the worse he did. Running EA is very different than a running a console and reporting to Ballmer is just asking for trouble.

 

I'd definitely prefer to see Yusuf and Spencer go over Marc.



#11 Showan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:06

There comes a time when the old folks step away and new people take over. The thing is, the Xbox team shouldn't have been off on it's own doing whatever it wanted to begin with, it made no sense. That's why the XB1 missteps happened before the launch. Since Xbox is another platform that runs games and soon more apps if they open it up, it makes more sense for the OS group to have oversight IMO. That means the tools and services that run on Xbox, Windows and WP will work better together than before. After that, when it comes to games, it's whoevers in charge of the studios to handle that and push first party titles forward.


I kinda agree with this, and kinda not. I think the Xbox team should be allowed to go as far as their imagination takes them. This is what made the OG XB and the 360 so widely popular. Don't get me wrong, they can't be in the red like the previous generations either. Allard, Kim, and Fries were fun and imaginative. When they first formed the division, the first thing they did was go to a different building to get away from the suits.
You can see towards the end of the 360 & beginning of the One, the results of the Mattrick, Yusuf (and somewhat Whitten) influence...

#12 OP trooper11

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:11

I kinda agree with this, and kinda not. I think the Xbox team should be allowed to go as far as their imagination takes them. This is what made the OG XB and the 360 so widely popular.



Honestly, I don't think the Xbox team should have to worry as much about the underlying OS. At least with the reorg and with Myerson taking over the VP spot, they should get the OS support they need and can take that and run with it as needed for the Xbox specifically.

It was annoying last gen how many little things were impossible for the 360 simply because its OS was so limited in scope.


On a side note, why was my comment in the first post added to a quote from an article?

#13 Showan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:17

.On a side note, why was my comment in the first post added to a quote from an article?



THE MATRIX IS REAL..j/k...I have no clue...it is in there though...lol

#14 +Audioboxer

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:40

As much as I would like to say I'm glad he's gone, I can't, simply because it's one less gamer that is in charge of the division and that's never a good thing. Same goes for Tretton leaving Sony, his replacememnt seems to be another suit. Marc (and others) screwed up with the X1 last year but at least he knows the business and would be able to set it straight like the team at Sony did with PS3. Makes you wonder how the hell Reggie and Iwata have managed to last this long.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few more leaving MS in the coming months as the reorganisation continues.


Trettons replacement has worked on many Sony games. I posted a link about it in the tretton leaving topic. You must of missed it Andy?

As for this news we should expect changes within MS, but it is true losing gaming business to full on suits will be a glum future for the whole industry.

#15 OP trooper11

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:56

I'd definitely prefer to see Yusuf and Spencer go over Marc.


What has Spencer done at MS to warrant him being fired?