Microsoft exec reportedly leaves job following testy Xbox tweets

Adam Orth has left the company following his negative tweets about an always-on Internet connection for the next Xbox, says Game Informer.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
One of the tweets that got Adam Orth into trouble.
One of the tweets that got Adam Orth into trouble. CNET Australia

A Microsoft creative director who got into hot water in the wake of comments about the next Xbox is apparently no longer with the company.

"Sources close to the matter" revealed the news to gaming site Game Informer. The site also called Microsoft's main switchboard to confirm that Orth is no longer working at the company.

The anonymous sources say the former creative director resigned following the controversy he created last week with Twitter comments. But Game Informer hasn't learned whether Orth resigned voluntarily or was forced out.

Orth allegedly got into trouble last week after posting a series of tweets in response to the rumor that the next Xbox would require an always-on Internet connection.

Responding to some gripes over the alleged requirement, Orth tweeted: "Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always-on' console. Every device now is 'always-on.' That's the world we live in." He capped off his tweet with the hashtag #dealwithit.

In a follow-up tweet, Orth dug an even deeper hole for himself.

One person challenged his initial comment by saying: "You've lived in LA, SF, Seattle...very connected places. Try living in Janesville, WI or Blacksburg, VA."

Orth's response: "Why on earth would I live there?"

Following the heated exchange, Microsoft issued a public apology:

We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.

Orth himself also apologized, saying that the tweets were just a bit of banter between friends.

In response to Orth's reported departure, a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET that the company is not commenting further on this issue.

Orth has since protected his tweets, meaning they're available only to approved followers. He had allegedly deleted his LinkedIn profile, but a search on the site for Adam Orth shows his profile as still active and still listing Microsoft as his current employer.

Microsoft has been trying to keep details about the next Xbox under wraps. Rumors have already been flying that the next-generation console would require a permanent Internet connection to operate. Just what that means is unclear. But we may learn more on May 21 when Microsoft will reportedly hold an event to announce the new console.

Update, 8:40 a.m. PT with comment from Microsoft.