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Robbie Bach, former chief Xbox officer at Microsoft, has resurfaced on the board at Sonos, the maker of internet-based audio electronics.
Bach has kept a low profile since he left Microsoft last year, giving up the title of president of the Entertainment & Devices group that includes the Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone 7 products. Bach told the Wall Street Journal that he was “decompressing” after spending more than 22 years working 60 to 70 hour weeks. It will be interesting to see if Bach decides to get involved in a new startup at some point, as is often the pattern for former corporate warriors.
Bach was one of the instrumental executives who helped make the Xbox happen. He brought business discipline to the project and eventually turned it into a profitable business and one of Microsoft’s only successful business diversifications. But he failed to do the same in challenging Apple with Microsoft’s Zune music players and Windows phone devices.
One of Bach’s Xbox colleagues, Shane Kim, also recently joined the board of Zipline Games. Kim, former head of Microsoft Game Studios, also left in 2009 to spend more time with his family. But he resurfaced this month at Zipline, a maker of a game development platform for mobile games.
Bach has been active on the boards of the nonprofit groups the Boys & Girls Club of America and the U.S. Olympic Committee. Bach joined the board of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Sonos at the request of chief executive John MacFarlane. Bach said he is a longtime user of Sonos products, which enable a music system to stream sound wirelessly around a home.
The devices let people play music from iPods or internet song services such as Pandora and Spotify. Sonos is expected to post revenue of $250 million, double the prior year. It is also profitable and has no plans to raise money.