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Meet the new President of Xbox

Published Oct 26th, 2023 6:35PM EDT

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Did I get you? Did you think Phil Spencer left?

For anyone who clicked on that headline in a panic, thinking that the legendary Phil Spencer has left Xbox, rest easy. If you — for some reason — don’t keep track of org charts as some of us do, Spencer was recently promoted to a new position as CEO of Microsoft Gaming. The beloved Xbox boss now runs both Xbox and gaming on the PC, cloud, and everywhere else the company meets gamers.

That does mean, however, that the company needed a new President of Xbox. Today, Spencer announced today that Sarah Bond, the company’s former Vice President, is taking over as the new President of Xbox and will be overseeing Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development. In addition to Bond, Spencer announced that Matt Booty is also being promoted to President of Game Content and Studios.

Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard
Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Image source: Microsoft

Spencer also mentioned that the company recently “set new records for engagement in Game Pass,” the gaming subscription service that Microsoft offers across PC and Xbox games. The announcement comes a day after the company hosted its Partner Preview event, where it showed off a selection of games from third-party studios, including the launch trailer of the anticipated Alan Wake II. The company also just recently finished its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.

You can check out the full memo that was sent to Microsoft Gaming employees from Spencer, which was obtained by The Verge:

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks since we closed our deal with ABK, an acquisition that will materially impact our current and future success. Since then, I’ve been on tour, visiting the teams. It’s been awesome to see the ambition of the games they’re making, the depth of the talent among the teams, and their excitement to be a part of Microsoft with a creative culture that aligns with their own.

Microsoft Gaming is on a multi-year journey to reach players where they are, on the devices they choose to play, and our strategy is working. We have thirteen $1B+ franchises in our portfolio and we just set new records for engagement in Game Pass. As our business continues to grow, it’s important that we structure ourselves to sustain that momentum with effective clarity and accountability across Gaming. In that spirit, we are making the following organizational changes effective today:

Great games are fundamental to everything we do. We believe that an expanded gaming content organization—one that enables Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax’s development studios to collaborate effectively together—will empower those world-class studios to do their best work in growing our portfolio of games players love. Matt Booty will lead this expanded organization as President, Game Content and Studios.

ZeniMax will continue to operate as a limited integration entity led by Jamie Leder, President and CEO, reporting to Matt. All ZeniMax development studios and ZeniMax Central Services teams will continue reporting to Jamie to maintain and optimize current content development and production cycles. Also, to deepen our partnership and accelerate mutual learning, a number of ZeniMax leaders will now report to those Microsoft leaders with whom their work most closely aligns.

With our innovative devices, products, services, and our global community, Xbox is the primary way we connect games and their creators with players around the world. These experiences are as foundational as the games themselves, whether they are our first-party games or third-party games. To manage the platform of today, and build the platform of tomorrow, we are bringing together the teams that will make this possible. Sarah Bond will lead this team as President of Xbox — bringing together Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development.

Reporting to Sarah and leading their respective teams will be Ashley McKissick (Corporate Vice President, Player Experiences & Platforms), Kareem Choudhry (Corporate Vice President, Xbox Emerging Technologies), Roanne Sones (Corporate Vice President, Gaming Devices Ecosystem), Lori Wright (Corporate Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development) and Kevin Gammill (Corporate Vice President, Ecosystem Product Management).

We’ve derived success from scaling our shared operations capabilities, so we will expand on that strategy by aligning ZeniMax’s IT and Facilities groups with our portfolio of operations and shared services. At the same time, continued leadership and focus on the effective integration of Activision Blizzard is vital. Dave McCarthy will lead all of these efforts for our business as Chief Operations Officer, Microsoft Gaming.

We have ambitious growth targets for games, players, endpoints and brand love. Our Gaming Marketing organization, which now includes Bethesda’s Publishing team, plays a crucial role by generating demand, driving engagement and inspiring advocacy among players, creators and partners. Jerret West will continue to lead this team as Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft Gaming.

As some of you may have seen, our Consumer Sales Organization (CSO) will be joining the Microsoft Gaming team, led by Ami Silverman as Chief Consumer Sales Officer, Microsoft. CSO is the dedicated Microsoft consumer retail vertical, which reaches customers through direct and partner channels in critical markets. Ami’s charter crosses all consumer products, including Devices & Creativity (Windows, Surface, M365) and all things Gaming. This team’s focus will be to transform the gaming sales motions and attract new audiences across geographic markets. Dametra Johnson-Marletti (Corporate Vice President, Consumer Sales Organization) will continue to report into Ami and focus exclusively on Gaming, leveraging the common services and infrastructure of the CSO team.

Continuing in their current roles on my team are Bobby Kotick (Chief Executive Officer, Activision Blizzard, through the end of 2023), Joslyn Main (General Manager, Chief of Staff), Cynthia Per-Lee (Corporate Vice President, Human Resources), Kari Perez (General Manager, Communications), Linda Norman (Corporate Vice President, CELA) and Tim Stuart (Corporate Vice President, Finance).

I’m excited to partner with this team of leaders to advance our mission for the next era of Xbox in service of players and creators. I am confident that they will steer our organization to success in the months and years to come. Please join me in welcoming Ami and her team, and congratulating Matt, Sarah and Dave on their new roles.

Emails are just one vehicle to communicate change. You will hear more from your manager and your leader in the coming days about how these changes may or may not impact your work. We’ll also discuss this evolution of our organization during our next town hall on Monday October 30th at 1:00PM PT. Thank you for your contributions and dedication to everything we do to bring the joy of gaming to everyone on the planet.


Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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