Gaming enthusiasts who kept tabs on the many appearances of Phil Spencer in Xbox-related press conferences and roundtables shouldn’t be so surprised at these recent turn of events. The official Xbox news site announced that the Chief of Microsoft Studios is promoted to Head of Xbox effective immediately.
What does this mean? Well, he now has to lead the the Xbox business that includes the online Xbox Live service, Xbox Music and Xbox Video, in addition to being Chief of Microsoft Studios. Spencer said on the official site that he will strengthen creators and architects of the Xbox by combining both the studio and Xbox teams together. “Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the official company e-mail, “under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones.”
He will be filling in the vacant spot left by former Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten. Spencer will report to Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group Terry Myerson. He will still work with Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox third-party relations George Peckham and Corporate Vice President of Xbox hardware development Mike Angiulo.
Spencer’s 25-year track record include working on Encarta and Microsoft Money, Microsoft Game Studios General Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and building up key Microsoft franchises like Gears of War and Halo. As for the current Microsoft’s Devices and Studios Division Head Stephen Elop (also an ex-Nokia CEO), he’ll be serving as Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Devices Group once the company fully acquires Nokia by the end of April.
As far as tech heads are concerned, they can rest easily knowing that Spencer will keep the Xbox brand afloat. In related news, the Xbox One will be out in parts of Asia this September.