Microsoft has announced that Phil Spencer is taking over as head of the company’s Xbox division. The former chief of Microsoft Studios will now be leading that division as well as the entire Xbox business which includes, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video.
“Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world’s most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself,” Spencer said in a statement on Xbox Wire, in part. “It’s been a remarkable year for Xbox and I am honored to lead the team at this incredible time for Microsoft and the games industry.”
“You will hear much more as we head into E3, but we are at the beginning of an incredible new chapter for Xbox and I can’t wait for the days and years ahead. This is going to be fun.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the news in a company-wide email earlier today. Spencer will report to Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group. Spencer will continue to work with Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing and strategy officer for Xbox; George Peckham, head of Xbox third-party relations; and Mike Angiulo, corporate VP of of Xbox hardware development.
“Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the [Operating Systems Group] 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,” said Nadella, in part. “I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences (go, “Titanfall”!), connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways. Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward.”
Microsoft’s Xbox division has been without a single, official leader since Don Mattrick left the company in July last year to join Zynga as CEO. Following his departure, Julie Larson-Green was appointed head of Xbox hardware and studios groups, with Myerson taking leadership of Xbox One OS development. Larson-Green was replaced by former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in February when she transitioned to leading the “My Life & Work” team in Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group, serving as Chief Experience Officer. Former chief product officer Marc Whitten departed earlier this month to join Sonos.
Nadella also announced that Elop will be serving as the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Devices group when the company’s acquisition of Nokia is closed, which the company expects to be by the end of April.