Phil Spencer promoted to head of Microsoft's Xbox division

Marc Whitten, the former leader of Microsoft's Xbox division, departed just two weeks ago, but the company wasted little time in naming his successor, Phil Spencer.

Spencer confirmed his promotion in a post on the company's official Xbox Wire blog, saying he will now oversee Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios, the latter of which is the company's gaming development and publishing entity. A memo from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to employees states that Spencer will report to Terry Myerson, the leader of Microsoft's operating systems group. The move, Nadella states, is beneficial as it will "bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones."

Whitten was a longtime Xbox executive, having joined Microsoft in 1997 before moving to the Xbox team three years later, helping develop all three Xbox consoles. As a 25-year Microsoft employee, Spencer has longer roots at the company, though he has less time in the Xbox division, having overseen the company's gaming development branch and not the entire Xbox division. In 2008, he was named worldwide general manager of Microsoft Studios before being promoted to corporate vice president of the same unit in 2009.

Spencer recently stated Microsoft has a "renewed focus" on PC gaming, details of which are scheduled to be revealed this summer. The console front will almost certainly continue to be the company's gaming focal point, however, as the recently launched Xbox One battles Sony's PlayStation 4, which has an early sales advantage. Microsoft recently temporarily cut the price of the console to $450, and it's scheduled to release the Xbox One in 26 new markets in September.

Microsoft has yet to release updated sales figures for Xbox One since it revealed the console sold 3.9 million units to retail outlets as of its last financial quarter, which ended Dec. 31. It also sold 258,000 units in February, though specific January figures were never released.

Source: Xbox Wire, Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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18 Comments

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pupkinvasiliy said,
having joined Microsoft in 1997
As a 25-year Microsoft employee
really?

Whitten joined in 1997 and spencer has been there for 25 years

Great choice for the job... Considering he truly loves video games and all...

Phil your first order of business should be: Don't let Yusuf or Panello say word regarding anything Xbox... And everything else should just fall into place...

Figure 8 Dash said,
Seems like a good fit. Hopefully he doesn't blow E3 as bad as Whitten did last year.

I don't understand why people keep saying Microsoft had a bad E3???

It was an edition literally PACKED with games.

And if you're referring to the "buy a 360 for offline gaming"-quote; that wasn't Marc Whitten.

Jarrichvdv said,

I don't understand why people keep saying Microsoft had a bad E3???

It was an edition literally PACKED with games.

And if you're referring to the "buy a 360 for offline gaming"-quote; that wasn't Marc Whitten.

I'm talking about everything from the initial announcement up until the point where Microsoft finally managed to climb out from underneath the mountain of negative blog posts that kept appearing every week.

Jarrichvdv said,
And if you're referring to the "buy a 360 for offline gaming"-quote; that wasn't Marc Whitten.

And thankfully, that guy is no longer with the company. :D

I just read the full article and it sounds like E3 is going to be very big for Xbox this year. I cant wait to see what they announce.

Makes sense to me, he's been going around talking up and hinting about all these games they have in the works, hope they deliver at E3.