Zune Executive Chris Stephenson Leaves Microsoft
"With less than three weeks before Microsoft launches another salvo in digital music players, the marketing executive overseeing the company's Zune device is headed for the exit. Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune, is leaving the company to take a position at Universal Music Group, according to people familiar with the matter. One of these people said Mr. Stephenson will become chief marketing officer at Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records after Labor Day, reporting to the label's chairman Jimmy Iovine."
I had a chance to meet Chris Stephenson at the MVP Summit earlier this year, and he seemed like a guy that knew his stuff - but it's hard to know how his leaving the Zune team will impact the group. He would have been instrumental in shipping the Zune HD, so him leaving at the end of a major project but before the next one really spins up is probably as close to perfect timing as you can get. Who will step in to take his place? Hopefully someone that can steer the Zune team toward real success against the iPod - and maybe someone who has the boldness to implement features that the iPod doesn't have (removable storage slot, Bluetooth for headphones, removable battery, etc.).