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Amazon entertainment device boss Marc Whitten departs

The head of Amazon’s entertainment devices and services group – which houses the Fire TV business – has left the company to join game engine maker Unity Technologies. 

Marc Whitten was the head of the division, overseeing the Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Kindle, Amazon Luna gaming and Amazon Appstore businesses.

Well-known market strategist Matthew Ball remarked on the move on Twitter, and suggested that a reason for his departure may have been the relative lack of impact of nascent game streaming service Amazon Luna.

The tech is only in its preview stage, but Google’s decision to shut down its internal game development division earlier this month has brought fresh speculation on the viability of cloud gaming from big players such as Amazon.

By Contrast, Amazon’s Fire TV business continues to go from strength to strength, with the company recently partnering with Foxconn to start producing devices in India

Whitten joined Amazon in 2016 from smart speaker maker Sonos, where he was its chief product officer. He also spent 17 years at Microsoft and was one of the founding team that launched the first Xbox console in 2001, and was described as “the founder of Xbox Live.”

The exec was described as “an incredible leader in the world of tech and entertainment,” by John Riccitello, the president and CEO of Unity.

Amazon confirmed that Daniel Rausch, formerly VP of smart home and Alexa mobile, has taken responsibility for the Fire TV and Luna businesses. 

Tags: Amazon