Phil Spencer Becomes New Xbox Head, Promises Renewed Focus and Mission on Microsoft’s Gaming Platform

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Microsoft revealed that Phil Spencer will assume control of both the Xbox platform and Microsoft Studios. The announcement came when Xbox CPO Marc Whitten expressed his decison to leave Microsoft a few weeks ago. Helming the division for nearly 14 years, Whitten will assume the same position with Sonos. Spencer?s new assignment took effect immediately.

The Role of Spencer

Newly appointed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlined Spencer?s new role in his email to employees Tuesday morning. Spencer will gain control over Xbox and Microsoft Studios, including the Xbox Live development teams. Simply put, the new head of Xbox takes care of everything related to gaming as well as the brand?s growing presence in non ? gaming. Phil is known for his focus in gaming, reaffirming his approach by saying that winning first with the gamer will drive the organization.

Bridging the Longstanding Divide


Spencer fought for two promises that he has overseen, which were discussed with Nadella, devices lead Stephen Elop and Windows boss Terry Myerson. The first promise was to unify Xbox under one umbrella, while the second promise was sitting at a table with Elop and Myerson. Spencer said that the Xbox leader and the Xbox team sitting at the same table with Terry (team leader of Windows team and Windows Phone OS team) will help them see gaming as a first ? class citizen across all platforms of Microsoft.

Redmond has struggled for years with the same idea, integrating Xbox services across the Windows platforms. Spencer gives hope to the bridging of this longstanding divide.

Where to Begin

Spencer has overseen so many aspects of Xbox, but where does he plan to begin? He explained that leading with a gaming focus is the organization?s North Star. He wants to make sure that the path will be taken. Spencer said that the gaming community could expect Xbox to be present in the all ? important holiday sales season with the launching of its major games.

In his initial letter, Spencer cited that their mission is to have a world ? class team that will meet the fans? high expectations with the best games and entertaining, as well as driving technical innovations.

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