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Sonos chief product officer on the way out

Sonos has announced that its chief product officer, Marc Whitten, is leaving the company.

Whitten has been at Sonos for the past two years, during which he oversaw the development of the excellent Play:5 speaker and the innovative TruPlay speaker-tuning app.

He also has significant product development pedigree, having helped to launch all three Xbox consoles today as chief product officer for Xbox.

However, Sonos has recently confirmed to Tech Insider that Whitten will be leaving the audio company amidst deep restructuring. Interestingly, it indicated that it won’t be actively looking to replace Whitten, which means that Sonos won’t have a product lead moving into its next phase.

Earlier in March Sonos announced that it would be laying off some of its workforce as it adapts to changes in the music industry. Few expected those layoffs to include such a prominent figure in the company.

In a company blog post, CEO John Macfarlane claimed that the company needed to evolve, with an additional emphasis on music streaming. Macfarlane also mentioned that Sonos would be taking inspiration from Amazon’s Echo speaker, suggesting that future Sonos speakers will have a voice-activated assistant element to them.

Related: Best Soundbars 2016

“Sonos is taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home,” said Macfarlane. “Voice is a big change for us, so we’ll invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.”

Presumably that ‘big change’ doesn’t require an experienced chief product officer.


What do you think of Sonos scrapping the way it’s currently doing things? Let us know in the comments below.

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