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In a company email this morning Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced that Phil Spencer will now be leading the Xbox Division.
 

Next, I have asked Phil Spencer to take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. Phil will report to Terry Myerson, allowing us to keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices. In this new job, Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. 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. Phil will continue his close partnership 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. Over the years, 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.

 

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/misc/2014/mar14/03-31corpemail.aspx



Great news everyone! (EDIT: Well only good news, would be great if Yusuf Mehdi was shuffled off somewhere else)

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A real gamer at the top of Xbox :-) not bad.

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He does seem like a nice guy and this is good news - glad for him, must be a considerable pay rise, and also very rewarding to be doing that. What happened to Elop? Or is he in charge of the division, while Phil runs the Xbox sub-division? MS job titles are quite confusing.

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Elop will be in charge of the hardware side, making the deals so the Xbox hardware gets made but Phil reports to the OS group and Terry Myerson since he'll oversee the Xbox software and games with input on hardware.

Basically the Xbox division overlaps both hardware and software but ultimately its more in the software side.

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Great choice for the job (at least from my PoV)...

First order of business: Don't let Yusuf Mendhi or Albert Panello talk about anything on the web.

They don't have to be fired (don't like seeing people lose their jobs), just give them something else to do...

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Great choice for the job (at least from my PoV)...

First order of business: Don't let Yusuf Mendhi or Albert Panello talk about anything on the web.

They don't have to be fired (don't like seeing people lose their jobs), just give them something else to do...

While I'd normally agree about people losing their jobs, this is the lead of possibly the worst marketing of a console ever. The Xbox One was a PR nightmare for months and he should accept some responsibility and step aside.

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I like the choice, I hope he pulls together the Xbox team and makes sure they are focused on the same goal.  They need to continue to be aggressive in pushing updates, adding features, and going after developers for content.

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I like the choice, I hope he pulls together the Xbox team and makes sure they are focused on the same goal.  They need to continue to be aggressive in pushing updates, adding features, and going after developers for content.

 

From the post about the change it sounds like for the first time (which if true is mind blowing) the Xbox division has one boss who oversees the software (OS etc), apps and studios.   I guess they had different VPs before this in control of the different parts who reported to Mattrick or w/e but that just sounds off.  

 

Anyways, it does sound like the reorg is cutting away much of the VP, middle management fat throughout the company.

 

On a side note I just read a post over on the verge about select preview program testers in the EU getting to try out the OneGuide for the first time before they roll it outside the US.  Oh, Canada too before I forget.

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Awesome! I like Phil.

 

Now if he can only get rid of Yusuf Mehdi

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Great choice for the job (at least from my PoV)...

First order of business: Don't let Yusuf Mendhi or Albert Panello talk about anything on the web.

They don't have to be fired (don't like seeing people lose their jobs), just give them something else to do...

 

Hahaha why? I like Albert Panello, he's the guy that wrote the famous "please import" page. You need to understand how many gamers worldwide were made happy by that confirmation. As for Yusuf Mehdi, not sure also what he did to deserve so much scorn? I don't remember him saying anything of note except that X1 will support 4K. Besides, isn't he very active on neowin, especially the news? :rofl:

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Hahaha why? I like Albert Panello, he's the guy that wrote the famous "please import" page. You need to understand how many gamers worldwide were made happy by that confirmation. As for Yusuf Mehdi, not sure also what he did to deserve so much scorn? I don't remember him saying anything of note except that X1 will support 4K. Besides, isn't he very active on neowin, especially the news? :rofl:

Panello has been quite good in some aspects, but when he took to NeoGaf for damage control....... well that didn't turn out so well...

As for Yusuf, as head of marketing he didn't do a good job of marketing the original plan for the X1 to us. In fact the PR was miserable and they still haven't really recovered from that mess, I still see people asking about 'Always Online'.

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Panello has been quite good in some aspects, but when he took to NeoGaf for damage control....... well that didn't turn out so well...

As for Yusuf, as head of marketing he didn't do a good job of marketing the original plan for the X1 to us. In fact the PR was miserable and they still haven't really recovered from that mess, I still see people asking about 'Always Online'.

 

Need to look up this NeoGAF and Albert thing, i vaguely remember something went awry there, but can't tell what. Was it that bad? And what did Yusuf say about always on? Did he even talk about that? It was mostly Don "I made Test Drive!" Mattrick that went on and on about that with his Sony E3 2005-2006-like goofiness...."we have a product for you if you live on a nuclear submarine...360!" What a doofus.

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I'll be interested to see how he balances Windows vs. Xbox, especially as the primary focus is on Xbox. 

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Need to look up this NeoGAF and Albert thing, i vaguely remember something went awry there, but can't tell what. Was it that bad? And what did Yusuf say about always on? Did he even talk about that? It was mostly Don "I made Test Drive!" Mattrick that went on and on about that with his Sony E3 2005-2006-like goofiness...."we have a product for you if you live on a nuclear submarine...360!" What a doofus.

To me it wasn't so much what Yusuf said, it was what he didn't say. As the Marketing Head, I felt it was his task to prove to us what was different and good about the new system, we never got a clear indication of how the online system working, we never got the details of the shared game libraries and we never got a clear reason as to why this was all good news for the consumer..All we got was buzzwords, promises and a middle finger from employees like Don Mattick and Adam Orth. He failed the most important task for marketing and as such I personally believe the Xbox Brand is still suffering because of this.(I still have friends that believe always online is still a thing)

As for Panello, he kept discussing the hardware and it's performance on Neogaf and was repeatedly abused for not having the knowledge and even seemed to be making stuff up to improve public perception. Since he has stopped all that stuff on NeoGaf and has been providing some worthwhile information, so I don't really have a problem with him at all.

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Thanks for explaining that. I guess Yusuf could have done more to introduce the system, though i don't think he said anything offensive. The power of the cloud talk was an remains slightly annoying, as you say it's buzzwordese rather than anything concrete. To be fair to them, there wasn't much they could have said to demonstrate what they meant before the system and games came out. Having played a lot on Titanfall, i can understand what they meant - it's the most solid MP experience in terms of network stability available right now. Not perfect but close.

 

And always online is still definitely a thing for X1 :wacko:  except not as strict. It's the same as PS4. Offline they lose all of their flavor, return to being just game players. Guess you could say that about any device nowadays, though.

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To me it wasn't so much what Yusuf said, it was what he didn't say. As the Marketing Head, I felt it was his task to prove to us what was different and good about the new system, we never got a clear indication of how the online system working, we never got the details of the shared game libraries and we never got a clear reason as to why this was all good news for the consumer..All we got was buzzwords, promises and a middle finger from employees like Don Mattick and Adam Orth. He failed the most important task for marketing and as such I personally believe the Xbox Brand is still suffering because of this.(I still have friends that believe always online is still a thing)

As for Panello, he kept discussing the hardware and it's performance on Neogaf and was repeatedly abused for not having the knowledge and even seemed to be making stuff up to improve public perception. Since he has stopped all that stuff on NeoGaf and has been providing some worthwhile information, so I don't really have a problem with him at all.

You've got to understand that the concept got leaked before they was ready to publicly speak about it. The "Jump In" campaign what they did recently with Titanfall, Ryse and Fifa in the advert was excellent. In the UK I'm seeing many Titanfall adverts, good public awareness so I don't get what the issue is with him?

 

Regarding Penello, he posted very honestly on there and cleared up a lot of confusion around some topics. When he jumped in over the hardware talks, he went all out fanboy MS mode and refused to admit there was large differences in the machine. The games so far, has proved otherwise.

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You've got to understand that the concept got leaked before they was ready to publicly speak about it. The "Jump In" campaign what they did recently with Titanfall, Ryse and Fifa in the advert was excellent. In the UK I'm seeing many Titanfall adverts, good public awareness so I don't get what the issue is with him?

Granted it was leaked early and those things are always hard to handle, but he should have been preparing something put out the fires, instead we got random staff insulting consumers and others who did the more appropriate thing and not comment. Don't get me wrong I totally agree on everything being much better now, hell I have loved some of the commercials lately, especially ones showing off the games. That is what we need and as long as it continues I am good with him, I just had a problem with the initial reveal and subsequent marketing afterwards along how poorly it was handled (regardless of leaks). Perhaps that initial marketing was just a product of Mattick still being in charge, that man didn't seem to care about the games or the consumer and that does fit with the press at the time.

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Granted it was leaked early and those things are always hard to handle, but he should have been preparing something put out the fires, instead we got random staff insulting consumers and others who did the more appropriate thing and not comment. Don't get me wrong I totally agree on everything being much better now, hell I have loved some of the commercials lately, especially ones showing off the games. That is what we need and as long as it continues I am good with him, I just had a problem with the initial reveal and subsequent marketing afterwards along how poorly it was handled (regardless of leaks). Perhaps that initial marketing was just a product of Mattick still being in charge, that man didn't seem to care about the games or the consumer and that does fit with the press at the time.

That's a fair enough view, I'd love to have an inside view of the development and internal reaction when it all kicked off. The best thing to put out the fires in my opinion would of been a simple walk-through of how to share games between friends and physically showing the family sharing on an XB1. I very much doubt the development of it was close to being ready though to do that.

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I think Phil Spencer is going to do a great job in his new role

 

 

Well I have to say, he is talking the talk.  If he can back it up with tangible results, then you could be looking at a renaissance of sorts for the Xbox group. His ideas seem to be very focused on feedback from end users, engaging with the community, and pushing the vision/message that they need to for the gaming community.

 

One bit that interested me was when he mentioned his talks with the new CEO.  He said that they all agreed that gaming needed to be a serious focus across all of their devices/products.  That could be another nod to the idea that MS is going to be proactive in improving the gaming experiences across the X1, the pc, tablets, and phones.  It could mean that the Xbox brand gets the attention it deserves across the pc and phone space to really be meaningful. It could mean more pc gaming content or at least more emphasis on improving the experience. 

 

We will see what comes out of this.

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Well I have to say, he is talking the talk.  If he can back it up with tangible results, then you could be looking at a renaissance of sorts for the Xbox group. His ideas seem to be very focused on feedback from end users, engaging with the community, and pushing the vision/message that they need to for the gaming community.

 

One bit that interested me was when he mentioned his talks with the new CEO.  He said that they all agreed that gaming needed to be a serious focus across all of their devices/products.  That could be another nod to the idea that MS is going to be proactive in improving the gaming experiences across the X1, the pc, tablets, and phones.  It could mean that the Xbox brand gets the attention it deserves across the pc and phone space to really be meaningful. It could mean more pc gaming content or at least more emphasis on improving the experience. 

 

We will see what comes out of this.

 

 

The new CEO, is impressing me as well. I like Satya's "If it's ready, then get in the hand of the consumers approach"...  

And I'm also liking the way Tools and SDK's are being handled now.  There seems to be a "HIGH QUALITY" mindset in place now, when it comes to Tools and SDK's  Better tools and SDK's means better apps and games coming from developers. This will make Microsoft's fans happy and bring in new fans.

 

Like I said Microsoft has been it's own worst enemy for the past 5-8yrs.  And they seem to be cleaning that up at breakneck speed.

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Phil, start by giving me back my $50 from the pre-paid code i entered just as you guys were having that billing system glitch last Thursday arrrggghhh :angry:

 

Otherwise, i think he's a cool guy, seems very likable.

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Phil, start by giving me back my $50 from the pre-paid code i entered just as you guys were having that billing system glitch last Thursday arrrggghhh :angry:

 

Otherwise, i think he's a cool guy, seems very likable.

 

They aren't refunding you? Wtf :no:

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I don't think that either of them should step down, I don't think either of them could have done any better.

 

Obviously the Xbox One was releases before it was ready, obviously they didn't have the basics hammered out yet, obviously the frame rates will increase with Dx12, and yet it's still selling better than the 360 did. That's fantastic considering how F'd the launch was. And the guy who's responsible for that is now over at Zynga or something.

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I don't think that either of them should step down, I don't think either of them could have done any better.

 

Obviously the Xbox One was releases before it was ready, obviously they didn't have the basics hammered out yet, obviously the frame rates will increase with Dx12, and yet it's still selling better than the 360 did. That's fantastic considering how F'd the launch was. And the guy who's responsible for that is now over at Zynga or something.

 

Blaming everything on Mattrick is equally a scapegoat though. He has a team surrounding him that play their part and indeed their part in the mistakes. He wasn't some tyrant that none of them couldn't approach (like Ballmer reportedly), so there's no excuse that collaboration was weak. They misread the market and screwed up the damage control.

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