Blair Westlake, corporate VP of Microsoft’s media and entertainment group, is leaving the company. While departures at big companies like Microsoft aren’t rare, Westlake has taken the unusual approach of detailing the exact reasons for his exit. “It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets,” Westlake said in a statement to Variety.
"I truly believe that this move is in the best interest of all parties concerned."
“Over the last few months Microsoft has been undergoing a large-scale reorganization,” he added. “During that period, I have had the privilege of working with numerous talented and professional people. While I will miss their company and our interaction, I truly believe that this move is in the best interest of all parties concerned.” Microsoft announced a massive company-wide reorganization in July, and recent departures — including Windows veteran Jon DeVaan — highlight that the reshuffling is in full effect.
Westlake spent the past 10 years at Microsoft liaising with media and entertainment industries to license content for the company’s various services and devices. Before joining Microsoft, Westlake spent nearly 20 years as an executive at Universal Studios. His key knowledge of Hollywood has helped Microsoft secure deals for content associated with the Xbox Live and Xbox Music / Video services.
Westlake’s departure comes just over a year after Microsoft hired former CBS executive Nancy Tellum to develop original content for Xbox. The first results of Tellum’s work are expected to debut in the coming months across Xbox One and Xbox 360, with a live-action Halo series and soccer reality show in the works. Microsoft has confirmed Westlake’s exit, noting that he “made valuable contributions to the company and we wish him success in his future endeavors.”