updated 12:37 pm EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
Exits Microsoft Xbox unit after 14 years, three console launches
Marc Whitten, the long-time chief product officer for Xbox at Microsoft, is leaving the company, the software giant has revealed. Whitten is departing to take on the same role of chief product officer at home audio device manufacturer Sonos, leaving Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson to temporarily take over the Xbox position while the company searches for a replacement.
The company blog post reveals Whitten joined the Xbox team in 2000 and helped launch all three generations of Xbox console, as well as Xbox Live. Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, states Whitten has "always led Xbox forward with a focus on our fans and delivering a platform that developers and creators can embrace," with Myerson adding his thanks for "Marc's leadership on Xbox and the incredible team he's helped build."
Whitten himself hails the "amazing time I've had the opportunity to work with" and the "most incredible fans on the planet" in the post, claiming "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."
It is unclear what the exact reasons are behind Whitten's departure, with Microsoft keeping quiet about the circumstances. It is possible Whitten is leaving as part of new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's management shuffling, with two other executives ousted this month alone.