Tech Moves covers notable hires, promotions and personnel changes in the Pacific NW tech community. Submissions: [email protected]
Amazon exec Marc Whitten has left the company to take a position at Unity Technologies in Bellevue, Wash.
Whitten joined Amazon in 2016 and oversaw projects such as Fire TV, Kindle, and the upcoming cloud-gaming service Luna.
He’s perhaps best-known for his 17 years at Microsoft, where he became one of the founding members of the Xbox project in 2000. As chief product officer of Xbox, Whitten was one of the primary architects of the Xbox Live online service, and worked on three generations of console hardware. He also spent two years at Sonos.
Whitten’s departure from Amazon was announced by Unity CEO John Riccitiello during an earnings call earlier this month, but Variety and others reported about the move this week.
“Marc is an incredible leader in the world of tech and entertainment,” Riccitiello said, adding that Whitten “brings a lot to Unity and his leadership will add to our ability to grow and grow faster in the months and years to come.”
Variety reported that Daniel Rausch, vice president of Smart Home, will now lead the Fire TV and Luna businesses.
Whitten noted this week via his Twitter account that he’s “just digging in” at Unity, where his official position is senior vice president and general manager of Unity Create Solutions.
Unity’s primary product is its eponymous cross-platform game engine, which it introduced in 2005. Since its debut, Unity has risen to power hundreds of games throughout the market, ranging from garage projects to mainstream hits including Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and Pokemon Go. A limited version of Unity can be downloaded for free, but larger studios are charged a yearly service fee for access to the software.
The company offers both Unity Create, an assortment of creator tools for game design and 3D modeling, and Unity Operate, which provides business-management facilities such as backend management. In a Feb. 24 blog on Unity’s website, the company claims that 94 of the top 100 development studios in the world use Unity Create, Unity Operate, or both.
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News – Amazon entertainment exec Marc Whitten departs, joins Unity as senior vice president