There’s a bit of shocking news coming from the folks at Microsoft tonight. After more than 14 years Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer for Xbox, is leaving to go work at Sonos.
Microsoft itself revealed the news in a special thank you note to Whitten on Xbox Wire. The post itself includes thoughts from such Xbox visionaries as Microsoft Studios Head Phil Spencer, and Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Xbox.
Whitten originally joined the Xbox Team in 2000. At the time the company was preparing to launch the very first Xbox Console, since then Whitten worked on the Xbox 360, Xbox One and two revisions of Xbox Live.
Whitten’s decision to join Sonos as its Chief Product Officer comes at an interesting time for the Xbox business in general. Whitten was a member of the old-guard, one of the remaining high-profile figures to have worked on the original console. His exit is just another in a growing list of longtime Xbox executives to move on to opportunities inside and outside the company. Last year Don Mattrick, the former head of the Interactive Entertainment Business decided to leave and take a job at online video game maker Zynga. Think of the situation as not executives running for the door but rather executives looking for that next big challenge.
The entire Xbox leadership will report directly to Operating Systems Vice President Terry Myerson until a replacement is found.