After former Xbox corporate vice president Marc Whitten left the company, Microsoft Game Studios Head, Phil Spencer, is replacing Whitten as the Head of Xbox.
As the Head of Xbox, Spencer will be in charge of not only Microsoft Game Studios, but also Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and more. This news comes two weeks after Marc Whitten left the company to become the Chief Product Officer at Sonos.
According to the official Xbox news blog, Spencer stated, “I am incredibly proud of the talented Xbox employees around the world and believe, like they do, in the power of technology to bring games and entertainment to life across console, PC, tablet and mobile devices…. This past year has been a growth experience both for me and for the entire Xbox team. We’ve taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer. 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. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.”
The new CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, in an open email to employees said “[c]ombining 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….Phil’s team at Microsoft Studios has helped build a community of more than 80 million Xbox owners and 48 million Xbox Live members through blockbuster game franchises such as ‘Halo,’ ‘Gears of War,’ ‘Kinect Sports,’ ‘Fable,’ ‘Forza Motorsport’ and many others. He’s helped drive the development of brand-new entertainment offerings like the partnership with the NFL and the formation of Xbox Entertainment Studios. 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.”
As for what is to come, Spencer said, “[y]ou 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.”
In a world where we are hearing about developers leaving or people losing their jobs, this is good news to hear. I have faith in Phil Spencer because of his legacy. Combining these teams under his leadership will lead to great things, I believe. Maybe we will hear something about the Halo TV series soon. Maybe.