Xbox's chief product officer Marc Whitten bids adieu to Microsoft to join the consumer electronics company Sonos.
On Monday, March 17, Microsoft confirmed Whitten's departure in an Xbox blog. Whitten will undertake the same role at Sonos and will join the company from April this year.
"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," stated the Xbox team on its official blog.
Xbox is one of the top-selling gaming consoles in the industry. In 2000, Whitten joined the Xbox team and played an important role in the development of the three generations of the gaming console: the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Whitten also assisted in the creation of Xbox Live, which went live in November 2002 and is now one of the top online communities that has over 48 million members across 41 countries.
"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 for Microsoft. "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."
Microsoft confirmed that the rest of Xbox's leadership team will remain the same. However, the company did not announce a replacement for Whitten. It seems that Whitten's departure from the team will also see the disappearance of the chief product officer role from the Xbox team. Whitten's team will now report directly to Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the company's operating systems group.
Sonos is trying to expand its product reach in the wireless music speaker industry. Whitten will probably be responsible for the developments in this segment and try to grab a major chunk of the $10 billion home audio industry.
Sonos' range of wireless speakers enables users to stream music from mobile devices, computers as well as from online services such as Pandora, Spotify and Beats. The company is currently facing stiff competition from rivals but will hope to become one of the key makers of wireless speakers in the market.