In what can only be described as a shocking move, Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer of Xbox has called it a day and will now join Sonos, the maker of wireless audio products. Marc’s role at Sonos should be fairly familiar as he is set to become the Chief Product Officer there as well. It is important to note that not only was Marc the Chief Product Officer of Xbox, but he also held the position of Corporate Vice President at Microsoft; his departure is almost on the scale of Sinofky’s — the Windows chief that left in 2012.
Marc became a member of the Xbox team in 2000 and was instrumental in the delivery of the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, and of course, his crowning jewel; the Xbox One. Whitten was key to the development of the Xbox Live platform, and helped its push towards global adoption. Of course, Whitten and co never had it easy going up against Sony’s Play Station as the Japanese giant was first to launch the then next-gen console in 1994.
The reason for Whitten’s departure has not been made public, but, given his track record, we can confirm that Microsoft is losing a leader and a visionary. His 14 years with the Xbox Team has left a lasting impression as Microsoft forged its way into one of the most challenging tech related industries and became a major player.
The contribution of Marc can be best summed up in the words of Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Marketing when he said, “Marc played a pivotal role in building the Xbox business over the last 14 years and has been a great partner for me personally. 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.”
The Xbox 360 was a huge success for Microsoft, with total sales rivaling that of the PS3 on a global scale. In his departure, Marc leaves behind a solid product in the form of the Xbox One, although its launch was shrouded in confusion and its sales figures still pale in comparison to Sony’s PS4. The legacy of the Xbox One is just beginning, and the launch of ‘Titanfall‘ has been well received, but to Microsoft, a giant has been lost, the titan has left.