Marc Whitten, the chief product officer at Microsoft who helped turn Microsoft into a household gaming name, is leaving Microsoft. Whitten is heading to Sonos to take on a similar role at the consumer electronics company.

Whitten’s tenure at Microsoft lasted 14 years. He joined as Microsoft was entering the console gaming race with the original Xbox in 2001. Microsoft would go on to solidify their position in the video game industry with Whitten’s help with the Xbox 360. This past November, Whitten helped release the Xbox One. The Xbox One was plagued with bad PR early on, but has seen heavy demand since release.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Strategy and Marketing for Xbox, cheered Whitten’s role in building Xbox over the past decade plus. “Marc played a pivotal role in building the Xbox business over the last 14 years,” Mehdi said in a statement.

Whitten expressed optimism about the Xbox brand in a statement. “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.”

Whitten helped lead Microsoft to more than 100 million units of Xbox consoles sold with the original Xbox and Xbox 360. He also oversaw Xbox Live which now has more than 48 million members.

With Whitten leaving, the Xbox leadership team will now report to Terry Myerson. Myerson oversees the teams working on Windows, Windows and Xbox.

Sony and Microsoft are both seeing shakeups in their executive teams. Whitten’s departure comes after Sony’s Jack Tretton revealed he was stepping down from his position earlier this month. Both men have left their respective companies in a good position moving forward.


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