Microsoft’s Newly Merged Xbox Division Gets New Boss

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Phil Spencer, formerly the vice president of Microsoft Studios (NASDAQ:MSFT), will become head of the Xbox division, which will be combined with Microsoft Studios. The news came as part of an announcement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, posted on Monday in the Microsoft News Center. Nadella praised Spencer’s past leadership at Microsoft Studios, calling him the perfect candidate to lead the new combined division.

“He’s helped drive the development of brand-new entertainment offerings like the partnership with the NFL and the formation of Xbox Entertainment Studios,” said Nadella. “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.”

Spencer also made a public statement about his new role at Microsoft. His version appeared as a blog post on Xbox Wire, the gaming console franchise’s official news outlet. The byline uses his new title “Head of Xbox.”

Spencer outlined his enthusiasm for his new role at Microsoft and what it means for Xbox fans in his post.

“Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation,” said Spencer. “As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.”

Spencer’s new role includes overseeing Xbox consoles, Xbox Live, and other Xbox-oriented entertainment departments, such as Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Microsoft Studios. The most recent Xbox console is the Xbox One, which was released in November in the United States. It is currently second to the PlayStation 4 in sales, which was released the same month.

Forbes reported that the move to unify Xbox and its associated entertainment products shows that the company is getting serious about gaming again. Forbes contributor Erik Kain, who writes a gaming blog at the publication, said that this is good news for gamers and investors alike in a post published Monday.

“For fans of the Xbox brand, this should come as good news. Shareholders may not see immediate returns on the Xbox One, but I’d argue a long view is in order,” he wrote.

Despite this shift, other Microsoft devices and services will remain in a separate category, despite the ability to play games on these other Microsoft products.

Like the newly merged Xbox division, that section is also getting a new boss. Stephen Elop, currently Nokia’s executive vice president of devices and services, as of the time of writing will become executive vice president of Microsoft Devices Group as part of a pending deal with Nokia. Elop will officially join Microsoft once the deal closes. The hire was announced in the same announcement as Spencer’s promotion to head of Xbox.

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