Microsoft media exec resigns due to company's 'direction'

Blair Westlake, a longtime corporate vice president at Microsoft, tells Variety the company is moving in a direction that doesn't fit his expertise.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Blair Westlake, Microsoft's corporate vice president for media and entertainment, has set sail from Redmond.

Westlake confirmed to Variety on Wednesday that he has resigned from his post, saying that "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 didn't discuss the direction in which he believes the company is going.

Westlake spent nearly 10 years at Microsoft, handling the company's relations with the entertainment industry. According to his LinkedIn page, he was responsible for "business development, policies and all content licensing for Microsoft services and devices including Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Windows PC/Tablets, Surface and Windows Phones."

The executive's departure comes just a few months after outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft is no longer just a big software company; it's a "devices and services company."

In a statement to The Seattle Times, Microsoft confirmed Westlake's departure. The company hasn't yet announced a replacement, and Westlake hasn't said where he'll be going next.