You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Microsoft Game Studios’ Phil Spencer Takes Charge of Xbox

Microsoft Game Studios chief Phil Spencer has been given oversight of Xbox and Xbox Live, which are combining under the games group.

In the new role, Spencer will oversee the designers behind the Xbox One video game console, its Xbox Live interface, as well as the teams behind Xbox Music and Xbox Video, while continuing to manage Microsoft’s in-house gamemakers, behind franchises like “Halo.”

In making the announcement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the move is meant to allow the company to “keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices.”

Spencer reports to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems. He replaces Don Mattrick, he left Xbox, after shepherding the development of the Xbox One console, for social and mobile gamemaker Zynga. More recently, the company recently lost Marc Whitten, who oversaw the development of Xbox Live.

“Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team 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,” Nadella added in a blog post on Monday.

Spencer will work closely with Yusuf Mehdi, who leads business strategy and marketing for Xbox, George Peckham, who heads up third-party partnerships and Mike Angiulo, who will continue leading Xbox hardware.

In addition to “Halo,” Microsoft Game Studios has produced franchises like “Gears of War,” “Kinect Sports,” “Fable” and “Forza Motorsport,” and helped launch Xbox Entertainment Studios, which is developing a slate of original series for the Xbox Live platform under former CBS exec Nancy Tellem, and was instrumental in brokering a partnership with the NFL.

In the blog post, Nadella said “Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward,” and issued a quick “go, “Titanfall!” after saying how he loves “the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences,” referencing the latest blockbuster title to hit the console.

In addition to Spencer’s new role, Nadella also promoted Scott Guthrie to executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. He already had spent the past two months leading the company’s infrastructure business. He first joined the company in 1997.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop also joins Microsoft as executive VP, Microsoft Devices Group, reporting directly to Nadella.

Microsoft expects to complete its acquisition of Nokia’s hardware biz in April. Elop will work with Spencer and Myerson on Xbox to develop new opportunities to expand Xbox Live’s mobile capabilities.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Releases Office for iPad as New CEO Focuses on Boosting Revenue, Image

Nadella sent the email to all of Microsoft’s employees under the subject line, “Tuning our organization.”

“Recently, I’ve discussed with the Microsoft leadership team the need to zero in on what truly makes Microsoft unique,” Nadella said. “As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

More Digital

  • BuzzFeed logo

    BuzzFeed Set to Lay Off 15% of Its Employees

    BuzzFeed is slashing its workforce by 15% in a move to boost the internet-media company’s profitability and “focus on content that is working,” according to a memo from CEO Jonah Peretti sent to staffers Wednesday. The cuts will be made next week, according to Peretti’s memo. BuzzFeed has about 1,450 employees worldwide, so the around [...]

  • Verizon New Logo

    Verizon Media Laying Off 800 Employees, or 7% of Staff in AOL and Yahoo Group

    Verizon is cutting 7% of the employees in its media group, or around 800 staffers in the division that combined AOL and Yahoo. “This week, we will make changes that will impact around 7% of our global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products,” Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan wrote in [...]

  • cheddar

    Cheddar Now on All U.S. OTT Streaming Services, Preps Primetime Programming Block

    Video-news startup Cheddar is launching its live-streaming news networks on Sony’s PlayStation Vue, making it the first content provider to span all over-the-top subscription services in the U.S. The company, founded in 2016, operates two networks — the newly rebranded Cheddar Business, positioned as a CNBC-style financial and business network for millennials, and Cheddar News, [...]

  • Avi Saxena - Discovery

    Discovery Hires Amazon's Avi Saxena as CTO of Direct-to-Consumer Unit, Will Open Seattle Office

    Discovery hired Avi Saxena, former VP of technology for Amazon Marketplace, as chief technology officer of direct-to-consumer. Saxena reports to the guy who was his boss at Amazon: Peter Faricy, who was appointed CEO of Discovery’s Global Direct-to-Consumer division in August 2018 and who headed up the Amazon Marketplace third-party seller business. In the newly created [...]

  • Spaces Terminatro VR Experience Goes Live

    Comcast-Backed Spaces Launches San Jose Location With 'Terminator' VR Experience

    Comcast-backed virtual reality startup Spaces is getting ready to open its second California location in San Jose next month: The company has teamed up with Cinemark to open a new VR center at the Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose on February 8. The new Cinemark Spaces center will open with “Fight for [...]

  • Sean Hannity Reveals Broadband Plans for

    Sean Hannity Reveals His Plans for Fox News Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sean Hannity sometimes tells younger colleagues at Fox News Channel that he is “the bridge between two generations of Fox” because he has been part of its primetime lineup since 1996. Now he may serve a similar purpose for a third. Fox News will next week bring Hannity to the world of video-streaming, launching “Hannity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content