Marc Whitten, the Vice President of Amazon’s Entertainment Devices and Services division, has left Amazon, according to his LinkedIn page. He has joined Unity Technologies, makers of the Unity game engine, as a Senior Vice President and General Manager. He joined Amazon in 2016 to head Fire TV and his scope had since expanded greatly to include Fire Tablet, Kindle, the Amazon Appstore, Luna cloud-gaming, and more.
Marc is the person that asked me to join Amazon and ultimately hired me. He was also the one that went well out of his way to try to find a better fit for me when I decided to leave Amazon. Despite being a very busy VP, he always made the time to meet with me to discuss how Fire TV was doing from my point of view, both at annual CES meetings before I joined Amazon, and while I worked there. He was always interested in, and recognized the importance of, the Fire TV’s enthusiast community, despite it being a relatively tiny portion of the Fire TV’s overall userbase. For that reason, and many others, it’s a real shame to lose him as the head of so many great Amazon products.
That’s not to say that I think the Fire TV, or other Amazon products formerly under Marc’s leadership, are in trouble without Marc. The Fire TV is in very good hands under Sandeep Gupta, the current VP of Fire TV, who has been with the team since well before the release of the first Fire TV in 2014. My confidence in Sandeep’s ability to lead the Fire TV team was one of the main reasons I decided to join Amazon. Part of me hopes Sandeep is promoted to take over Marc’s roll, since I can’t think of anyone else that I met during my time at Amazon that would be better for the position, but the other part of me would selfishly hate to see Sandeep’s full focus taken away from Fire TV.