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Xbox console marketing lead Albert Penello leaves Microsoft

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Windows Central)

Albert Penello

Albert Penello, Microsoft's senior director of console marketing, announced today that he is leaving the company. The move marks the end of an 18-year career at Microsoft. Penello made the announcement on Twitter, calling his time at Xbox a "once in a lifetime experience"

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Prior to his time at Microsoft, Penello worked as a product marketing manager at EA beginning in 1994. Penello joined Microsoft as a director of marketing in 2000 and helped drive marketing plans for the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Kinect. Over the years, Penello's responsibilities have grown, culminating in his current position overseeing strategic marketing and planning for all Xbox devices around the world.

There's no word on where Penello is heading next, but we wish him well. You can read a longer goodbye message Penello posted to Facebook below.

Well, it's hard to believe I'm posting this, but after almost 18 years I made the decision to leave Microsoft. There aren't the words to describe how much Xbox has meant to me, but even more important are all the amazing people I got to work with.I'm going to miss seeing these people every day, and there will never be another time in my career as monumental as what I got to be a part of.But - it's time for a change. Time to learn new things and challenge myself again. I'm excited about my new opportunity and I'll be talking more about that soon. In the meantime, I'm going to take a few weeks off to recharge before I start the new job, and reflect a lot on the amazing time I've had at Xbox.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

26 Comments
  • What! Microsoft has a Marketing Department! lol :)
  • Xbox does.... Phone, well... Not sure they ever had one.
  • I don't think it's a stretch to say that I've seen more Windows phone commercials than Xbox ones, and product placement... hell I still see Windows phones on TV.
  • What a refreshing approach to Microsoft's fans in Penello's tweets. I bet that annoyed Ol' Nads. Most of MS must have felt pretty ashamed when they read that.
  • And there goes one and probably the biggest of the few highlights of Microsoft marketing dept...
  • Probably realized that without any major exclusive titles coming out, he didn't have anything to market.
  • And u know this how with so many months the year still has including events like E3? U speak BS.
  • You do know that MS didn't announce a single non-Forza major console exclusive in over 30 months?
  • Why do exclusives matter if nobody buys them? On the UK sales charts there is only one Sony exclusive on that list and it's the biggest AAA game.
  • "Why do exclusives matter if nobody buys them?"
    I already told you why along with the importance of exclusive or console exclusive but you just ignore my reply. Also your statement about nobody buying exclusives is a lie.
    I've already shown numbers but you keep ignoring it. Let's be honest here. I think we both know why you want to downplay exclusives. Is it because a certain company isn't making as much of them as the competition?
  • Where's the number in the thread? What are the top10 on ps4, in console market in general? > It is because a...as the competition
    Again with the assumption...
    Not everyone are like you and stop playing victim...
  • I was replying to jams_11?
    Are you him? I already talked about the importance of exclusives or console exclusive. I've already showed that in the last 8 weeks there has been between 4 to 6 in the top 10. And I'm not talking of PS4 ones but those on all 3 consoles. After all the original comment was clearly talking about exclusives as a whole. He didn't even mention PS4, that's just you making an assumption. But it's funny how you and jams_11 sound so similar... In the last two topics it looks like I can't have a discussion with one without the other replying...
    Oh and no one is playing the victim. I'm just curious to know the motivation behind downplaying games. A gamer (if that's what he is) downplaying games is really strange. hmm
  • I'm not him, but I'm interested and so I asked. > I already talked about the importance of exclusives or console exclusive
    The info dependable? > I've already showed that in the last 8 weeks there has been between 4 to 6 in the top 10
    A few weeks? A week or 2 on the chart means nothing to developers. Any new game, a good one, surely will have a chance to be on top for a few weeks if there's no better competitor at the time, then most drops outta chart.
    Nioh and a few exclusives was a UK #1 for a week then it's gone. So? How many ps4 owners bought it? How many gamers own FIFA, BF, Witcher and others? How do devs decide whether to have a sequel or not? Is it worth to invest in the sequel? What typpa game, game mechanism is popular? What game tech is worth investing (can attract more user or it's just money in the toilet, no one cares)? Think. Monster Hunter World is designed for EU+MA gamers but most sales came from Japan+Tw. Although it's gone from the charts, it pushed ps4 sales in Japan+Tw by quite a lot (after DQ11's push, this is really quite something). How important is DQ (as an exclusive) in Japan / west? How important is Nioh (as an exclusive) in Japan / west? How important is MHW (as an multiplat) in Japan / west?
    Are DQ, MHW, Nioh, GTA, Witcher, FIFA, Forza sharing the same player base? > Oh and no one is playing the victim
    I thought you are the one asking why people attack you? No one cares about you (self‐conscious?) and it's best to just focus on the case, not the person. And stop categories / labeling people.
  • "The info dependable?"
    I've given reasons backed with reliable information.
    You can checkit out. "A few weeks?"
    Well it depends how many copies it sells. Neither you nor me have all numbers. All we have is estimations or the odd numbers announced by publishers. And these charts. For example, Horizon ZD sold more than 7.5m in less than a year. That's quite a good number for Sony. Most of those probably came early on. So they may have topped the charts few weeks but it still sold a lot. The simple facts that it sells nullify the point "nobody buys them". That is a lie. Now do you agree that statement is false? Because if you don't, you'll need to prove it. But here is a question that many of you try to avoid. You guys always want to compare a game like GTA with Nioh. And to answer your question. No they don't have the same base, and GTA/FIFA is probably selling a lot more than Nioh.
    But the comparison here is not GTA vs Nioh. It is GTA + Nioh + other exclusives ... vs just GTA.
    If 2 consoles have more or less the same multiplats game but one has way more games that can only be played on it. Can you admit that the one with the bigger library has an advantage over the other when it comes to choosing a console at least when it comes to games? As for development, Sony is investing in a lot of new games, other companies are making games. Companies are not making the same game. So a game like Detroit become human isn't for everyone, but Quantic dreams are still making games of that genre because there is a demand for it.
    Business is also about investing in something and taking a risk some times. It's not about sitting in a corner producing the same stuff and not investing in new games. PS4 is still selling way more than XB1, and I believe the bigger library has something to do with it. It may not be the biggest reason but it is one. There was a survey by IDC, that showed that around 20% of people bought their console mainly because of exclusive or its game library. Another 8% said because of brand loyalty. So can we say most of these will also support games of that brand? So we are talking about 20-28% people whose primary reason is that. And that's not counting how many of the rest have it as their 2nd or 3rd reason... I've also talked about history of console gaming and how important they are to MS/Sony as we see in their communication.
    Now if the argument remains "nobody buys them", then sorry but for me it's weak because I already prove it to be false. Also I hope that you guys will actually reply to the point I made. "I thought you are the one asking why people attack you? No one cares about you (self‐conscious?)"
    Yup, because instead of keeping it gaming people attack personally. But I also believe that it's important to know the background and the reasons why people support something over another. I've clearly said, I want games, I want companies to make games for their customers. What I want to know is why people try to downplay exclusives. Do they really want companies not to invest in making games? I'm really curious.
  • > But here is a question that many of you try to avoid.
    Which diagram are you referring to? Which one sells the most ps4? Which one tells me multiplats player cares about exclusives? Which one tells me (78.8m) ps4 owners buy a ps4 for exclusives?
    https://imgur.com/brJbbNc
    A? B? or C? How about this one?
    https://imgur.com/a/8Fe1MB9
    A? B? or C?
  • XPA (I'm using it on Alienware and Surface Pro right now. Looking forward to dock a ARM on my gamepad later this year tho). e-sports business. Free cross-platform cloud sync. BC, FC, GamePass. Mixer Streamer can get a cut selling MsStore product. * XPA, BC and FC makes buying multiplats from PsStore illogical tbh. As a programmer, win10IOT in vending machines, in arcade cabinets, in robot, in security cam, in water meter. Azure for IOT. Game server business. UWP for win10pc, s-mode, ARM, IOT, Xbox, AR, MR. Devs can open game API to mixer. C# for server-side and so we can share code between client and server programming. And many more.
  • Since I always criticize Microsoft for their very poor marketing, I am happy to see this guy go. They can all go. I have no idea who he is, but change is good when your being held back by legacy thinkers. Microsoft is a perfect example of how good products can fail in the marketplace without proper marketing.
    _______ is a perfect example of how poor products can dominate the marketplace with proper marketing.
  • Microsoft's marketing has sucked but Xbox and Surface marketing has been great and some of Windows Phone 8 and Mobile 10 ads. The rest pretty much sucks.
  • Xbox marketing hasn't been terrible, remember marketing is more than just TV commercials, but it definitely doesn't compete with PlayStation's marketing.
  • For me, this is good news for XB. I think XB really needs a reboot or a refresh. I would have preferred if it was Aaron Greenberg. But I guess this will do.
    ofc I think if Aaron Greenberg goes and if he can take Larry Hryb with him, it'll be great. I would have put Spencer also in it but he has a new post... I think they really need new people. People who will take steps to try to make XB as popular as the competition...
  • Marketing for Xbox has been awful since forever. I wonder what kind of hand Penello had in it... probably a big hand.
  • He is heading to Playstation...;)
  • Hopefully not. I hope he stays away from gaming...
  • Xbox has a marketing department? But it only works in the US I guess. 'cause the only ads I've seen for Xbox stuff... Are spamming the f*cking UI of the console people already paid for.
  • I suspect the problem was that Xbox marketing targeted consumers. Nadella can't have that, now.
  • Wait, they market the xbox? I have not seen an xbox add in ages except on the inter webs.