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One of the key members of Microsoft's dream-team that helped concoct and market the Xbox One during the Summer of DRM last year, has parted ways with the company; Marc Whitten is gone.
He's not dead, by the way, just gone from the company.
The news came hard and heavy so many hours ago, as Microsoft let the information fly loose on their official Xbox news feed, making it known that the former chief product officer in charge of the Xbox brand, Marc Whitten, has parted ways with the company after dedicating 14 years of his life to the service of Microsoft.
As noted in the official post by Whitten himself...
“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,”... “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.”
Whitten follows closely behind other exiting executive Don Mattrick, the man who fronted just about everything we knew about the Xbox One during its May 21st reveal in 2013, alongside Yusuf Mehdi, Phil Spencer, Albert Penello and Phil Harrison.
The departure also follows suit behind a top Sony executive who is stepping away from the console wars – more to the fact, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Jack Tretton – as he puts his bags to his back and his feet to the stones that lead down a pathway in life far away from the doors that represent the house of Sony.
Whitten's exodus, however, is being displayed with congruous cheer and well-wishes from the Micro 'S', as Phil Spencer had his own words of praise to spread during a time in which one key member of the Xbox team is building his own way and parting paths with the black and green trailblazer in the American home entertainment console business, saying...
“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 games and entertainment. We wish Marc well, while looking forward to the next chapter of Xbox.”
A chapter, I hope, that Microsoft aims to pave with good intentions of furthering a pro-consumer agenda, and locking away the tactics and milestones of walled-garden antics and shallow-spoken buzzwords attached to policies benefiting no one but the people who make money on your entertainment desires.
More than anything, gamers can view this as a new chapter – a page in a book being flipped for the first time toward a newer, better, cleaner slate. An unwritten journey for the Xbox that can be plotted by someone who can step into the role that Whitten leaves to the void, and hopefully, possibly, putting the Xbox name back into the light and under the auspices of the word “prestigious”.
Corporate vice president of strategy and marketing, Yusuf Mehdi (that name I dropped oh but a few paragraphs ago) finished off the short and sweet goodbye, saying the following...
“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.”
I'd like to think that the inspiration of the fans will echo a spear of aspiring enthusiasm in the heart of whoever steps up to the plate next. It would be a great moment in gaming history to look back on this captured droplet of time, and think not of how Microsoft lost a key member of its team, but how gamers gained a great leader in the Xbox brand, and that this new leader chided the Xbox One back onto the pathway that helped us fans fall in love with Microsoft's original vision that sparked immeasurable waves joy back in 2001.
Here's to the future.
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