Marc Whitten, the longtime Xbox Live leader who has worked most recently as Xbox chief product officer, is leaving Microsoft to join Sonos as chief product officer.
Microsoft announced the news Monday afternoon, four months after the launch of the Xbox One and a week after the debut of the pivotal game Titanfall for the Microsoft console.
The company says Whitten’s team will report to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s operating systems chief, and the rest of the Xbox leadership team will remain in place.
Whitten issued his own personal letter to Xbox fans on the company’s Xbox Wire site, thanking Xbox gamers and saying he has the “utmost confidence” in the Xbox team and its products.
Here’s the full text of Microsoft’s post on his departure.
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, Corporate Vice President 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 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.