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Posted

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.com/2014/3/17/5520130/xbox-vp-marc-whitten-leaves-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

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Posted

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.

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

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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.

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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...

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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.
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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.

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Posted

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...

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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?

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.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

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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.

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

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

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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.

Spencer??? Why?

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

 

They should fire Phil Spencer and hire Phil Spector instead.

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Well the Xbox team has been like the a 3rd century Roman state for years now, emperors and senators come and go, you barely get to know them. And some you think left are amazingly still there. I mean, Greenberg is still around, isn't he? And they have so many titles, who can keep track? Must be an HR nightmare. What's with the anti-Yusuf Mehdi sentiment? Guy seems amicable enough, didn't notice anything off that he said. Albert Panella is one dude they need to promote...he was very good with mitigating a lot of the misunderstandings regarding X1. Not sure he still works there, though...

 

And what the hell happened to Shane Kim? Liked the guy, but he was off on the sales thing with his brazen statements that 360 will demolish PS3. Oh 2008, how we miss thee.

 

Pretty sure Don left because his vision for X1 was eventually rejected. At least MS take care of their own, they got him the Zynga position, they also took care of Adam Orth...guy was supposedly fired only to emerge a year later developing his own game. Either he's independently wealthy or the exit package was quite nice! :woot:

 

 

EDIT: yes, forgot, all the best to Mr. Whitten, he contributed a lot, and i'm sure he'll be fine. A decade and a half in the same company is not bad, admire people that can do that.

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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...

 

Going as far as they could think of is why they were in a bind before the release, you need oversight at some level.  And besides that point you don't need the Xbox division to be isolated on it's own, it makes no sense when you're part of a bigger company called MS.  The fact of the matter is,  the Xbox guys come up with a hardware design and what they want it to do, the OS group handles the OS like it's suppose to do, the services side adds the apps from their end on it while the studios works on games.   After the OS group does it's thing the Xbox team can handle what goes on top, but having them try to do it all is why things are behind even now.  Why is Windows  on 6.3 and XB1 still on 6.2?   And let's not forget that the work was behind so much that the OS group had to stop working on other things to go over and help finish the XB1s OS.   This was reported last year around E3, now notice how we're getting more updates and faster, part of this is out of need though but it's also because the OS group is doing what it does best in this case.   They're already going to start previewing the next 1404 (April update) now.  

 

They can have all the imagination they want but like the Skype team, which was alone doing it's own thing for a year or so, it's not worth it, not better for the products as a whole either.  

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 Marc (and others) screwed up with the X1 last year

I'd say the gaming community screwed the X1 last year, not Microsoft.

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Going as far as they could think of is why they were in a bind before the release, you need oversight at some level.  And besides that point you don't need the Xbox division to be isolated on it's own, it makes no sense when you're part of a bigger company called MS.  The fact of the matter is,  the Xbox guys come up with a hardware design and what they want it to do, the OS group handles the OS like it's suppose to do, the services side adds the apps from their end on it while the studios works on games.   After the OS group does it's thing the Xbox team can handle what goes on top, but having them try to do it all is why things are behind even now.  Why is Windows  on 6.3 and XB1 still on 6.2?   And let's not forget that the work was behind so much that the OS group had to stop working on other things to go over and help finish the XB1s OS.   This was reported last year around E3, now notice how we're getting more updates and faster, part of this is out of need though but it's also because the OS group is doing what it does best in this case.   They're already going to start previewing the next 1404 (April update) now.  

 

They can have all the imagination they want but like the Skype team, which was alone doing it's own thing for a year or so, it's not worth it, not better for the products as a whole either.

I see where you are goin but, I'm still very mixed about it.. Having the Xbox team separated in a different building to me was genius move. When a suit gets their hands in the mix, the results are never good. The OS group coming in and doing their part is acceptable. But once again, no suits. When doing these things it has to be "Gamers & Geeks" only.

At E3 and other conventions, let the geeks and gamers speak...

But I do believe you have to keep at least one suit around, to keep out if the red

Yusuf, Panello, and Whitten, Mattrick....shouldn't even be allowed around the product.

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They'd still do what they want to a extent, all I'm saying is that they shouldn't try to do everything on their own in isolation. The Xbox team should be working hand in hand with the OS group and the services group and so on, no more solo teams not working with each other.

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They'd still do what they want to a extent, all I'm saying is that they shouldn't try to do everything on their own in isolation. The Xbox team should be working hand in hand with the OS group and the services group and so on, no more solo teams not working with each other.

 

 

J Allard said the reason they chose to go to an isolated building is because of the suits....  You had people like Ballmer, and others who had/have NO clue about this sector of consumer entertainment, wanting to prod and poke.  Of course you want the Xbox Team working with the Windows Team.  But I still like the isolation.  The Xbox Team can drive down to the Xbox Building and work together.  

 

Can you imagine being in the main building and having 4-5 different bosses walking by... Adding their 2cents or taking things that should be in there, and all 5 bosses have a different perspective on this... that would drive me insane.

 

That's why J Allard couldn't take it any longer.  If you have a talent that special on your team, you trust them to do the right thing.  Even Peter Moore was good for the 360, he was likable.  And tried his best to stay out of the "talented" folks way.  A proper bridge between the Tech's and the Suits...

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J Allard said the reason they chose to go to an isolated building is because of the suits....  You had people like Ballmer, and others who had/have NO clue about this sector of consumer entertainment, wanting to prod and poke.  Of course you want the Xbox Team working with the Windows Team.  But I still like the isolation.  The Xbox Team can drive down to the Xbox Building and work together.  

 

Can you imagine being in the main building and having 4-5 different bosses walking by... Adding their 2cents or taking things that should be in there, and all 5 bosses have a different perspective on this... that would drive me insane.

 

That's why J Allard couldn't take it any longer.  If you have a talent that special on your team, you trust them to do the right thing.  Even Peter Moore was good for the 360, he was likable.  And tried his best to stay out of the "talented" folks way.  A proper bridge between the Tech's and the Suits...

 

 

See, I get that, I'm not talking about Suits going in and taking full control, I'm talking about the Xbox team working with the other teams in MS on things.  There's no reason why the Xbox team should try to do everything from top to bottom on it's own and not work together with other groups.  Take for example how the 360, to this day, iirc, still doesn't support connecting a WP device to it so you can access the media on it and play it, but from what I remember it supports others.  Things like that for example make little sense, why the 360 doesn't work well with a number of different MS products or technologies is mind boggling.  

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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?

 

My bad, I must have pasted the quote over the top of your comment when I added the stories to OP.

 

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

 

 

Spencer??? Why?

 

He's in charge of the software right? He signs off what they ship, so take for instance making yet another GoW and scrapping new IP. The guy needs a kick up the ass to bring something new to the platform and not just 1 game every blue moon.

 

Well the Xbox team has been like the a 3rd century Roman state for years now, emperors and senators come and go, you barely get to know them. And some you think left are amazingly still there. I mean, Greenberg is still around, isn't he? And they have so many titles, who can keep track? Must be an HR nightmare. What's with the anti-Yusuf Mehdi sentiment? Guy seems amicable enough, didn't notice anything off that he said. Albert Panella is one dude they need to promote...he was very good with mitigating a lot of the misunderstandings regarding X1. Not sure he still works there, though...

 

And what the hell happened to Shane Kim? Liked the guy, but he was off on the sales thing with his brazen statements that 360 will demolish PS3. Oh 2008, how we miss thee.

 

Pretty sure Don left because his vision for X1 was eventually rejected. At least MS take care of their own, they got him the Zynga position, they also took care of Adam Orth...guy was supposedly fired only to emerge a year later developing his own game. Either he's independently wealthy or the exit package was quite nice! :woot:

 

 

EDIT: yes, forgot, all the best to Mr. Whitten, he contributed a lot, and i'm sure he'll be fine. A decade and a half in the same company is not bad, admire people that can do that.

 

Penello has to go. The guy is another PR nightmare and doesn't know when to shut up. It's like the rest of them saw sense last summer but he slipped through the net and still continues to cause controversey over at Gaf etc. Shane Kim left a few years ago, even before Kinect launched. Yusuf is in charge of marketing IIRC. Probably the brains behind slogans "beta tested in the future" :no:

 

I'd say the gaming community screwed the X1 last year, not Microsoft.

 

I didn't realise we had a hand in making the console :/

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