Phil Spencer, a game maker who previously spent his time managing Microsoft-made titles for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, will lead the combined software team in charge of the Xbox.
Microsoft itself announced the changes today, noting that Spencer will now lead an organization that works under its Operating Systems Group. This team will be responsible for the software and services portions of the Xbox ecosystem. This includes, the Xbox software, Xbox Live and Microsoft Games Studios. Spencer will also manage a few of the company’s media efforts: Xbox Music and Xbox Video. Whether he’ll be in charge of Xbox Entertainment Studios as well remains a mystery.
While most outlets are touting Spencer’s new job “as leader of the Xbox Division”, it’s important to note that there is no longer a single division responsible for Xbox. Last year Microsoft announced that responsibilities for Xbox would be split between its Operating Systems Group, which leads software development, and the a Devices and Services Group being headed by now Nokia CEO Steven Elop. Essentially, the Xbox as we know it is in the hands of two different parts of the company.
For his part, Spencer took to Xbox Wire to share some choice words about his new promotion this afternoon saying,
“Xbox is an example of Microsoft identifying a new opportunity, going big after a consumer need and staying committed. From the early days of building the original Xbox, to core technology bets like incorporating the Internet in every box, Microsoft has enabled developers and creators of all sizes – from ID@Xbox to the biggest publishing and entertainment partners – with innovative technology and tools and, most importantly, a connection to the world’s best community of gamers.”
Spencer had acted as spokesman during the Games Developer Conference after Xbox Chief Product Officer Mark Whitten announced his departure for Sonos.