Phil Spencer
Courtesy of Microsoft
United States



CEO, Gaming

After Microsoft acquired ZeniMax and its lauded publisher Bethesda for $7.5 billion in 2020, Spencer and the tech giant shocked the industry in January 2022 by announcing a plan to acquire “Call of Duty” owner Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. The deal will also bring Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch” into the fold alongside “Candy Crush” and other popular mobile games from King, though there are caveats. Several lawsuits against Activision Blizzard allege years of widespread misconduct that went as high as CEO Bobby Kotick, and a state investigation into the company is still ­ongoing. Furthermore, regulatory scrutiny of the deal, which was expected to be finalized in 2023, has now culminated in the FTC attempting to block it. Otherwise, there is at last a live-action adaptation of signature Xbox franchise “Halo” that premiered on Paramount+ in March.  


  • Microsoft
  • Xbox One
  • D.I.C.E. Summit


  • University of Washington - Seattle (WA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
  • Gaming Leaders
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News from Variety

Xbox Chief Phil Spencer Outlines Plan to Combat Online Toxicity

Xbox Chief Phil Spencer Outlines Plan to Combat Online Toxicity

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer outlined new plans to combat toxicity and promote online safety in a post on the Microsoft Blog on Monday.Spencer believes in two fundamental truths about gaming, he said. One, that gaming is for everyone and, two, gaming must promote and protect everyone's safety."No one group 'owns' gaming," Spencer said. "Instead, whether you’re new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that...


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