After closing the $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard deal, Microsoft is gearing up for its new chapter. The company has made some structural changes to Xbox’s leadership to better manage its portfolio of first-party studios and ensure further business growth.
Phil Spencer announced the changes today in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. The main goal is to create an “expanded gaming content organization” that will improve internal communication and collaboration between Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax.
According to Spencer, this “will empower those world-class studios to do their best work in growing our portfolio of games players love.”
Here are the key reshuffles:
- Matt Booty — promoted from head of Xbox Game Studios to president of Game Content and Studios;
- Sarah Bond — promoted from corporate VP of Xbox to president of Xbox;
- Dave McCarthy — promoted from corporate VP of Xbox player services to chief operating officer of Microsoft Gaming.
Booty will lead the expanded organization, also overseeing the work of studios like Bethesda, Arkane, and id Software. ZeniMax will remain a “limited integration entity,” buts its president and CEO Jamie Leder will now report directly to Booty. So this move should help Microsoft better control the production cycle across its growing portfolio of development teams and avoid fails like Redfall, which suffered from poor management and talent exodus.
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.
CEO of Microsoft Gaming
You can see the upgraded structure of Xbox below, with Phil Spencer at the top as CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
Image credit: Microsoft
Sarah Bond will manage the strategy for the Xbox platform as a whole, including its products, services, hardware, and community. Her team will include executives like Ashley McKissick (corporate VP of player experiences and platforms), Kareem Choudhry (corporate VP of Xbox emerging technologies), and Roanne Sones (corporate VP of gaming devices ecosystem).
Dave McCarthy will be in charge of the “effective integration of Activision Blizzard.” It is currently unclear who will replace Bobby Kotick as CEO of Activision Blizzard after he steps down at the end of the year.
Plus, Microsoft Consumer Sales Organization, led by chief consumer sales officer Ami Silverman , will join the Microsoft Gaming team. Its focus will be to “transform the gaming sales motions and attract new audiences across geographic markets.”
The Microsoft Gaming reorganization comes shortly after the release of the company’s financial report for the three months ended September 30. Its gaming revenue grew 9% year-over-year to $3.9 billion, with Microsoft expecting Xbox content and service revenue to increase by 55-59% in the next quarter thanks to the positive impact of the Activision Blizzard deal.