Earlier this month, Microsoft made the announcement that Xbox One architect and longtime Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten had departed the company for a similar position at Sonos. Whitten had been an instrumental piece of the Xbox team, helping usher in every one of Microsoft’s consoles, from the original Xbox up to and including last year’s Xbox One. However, much like many of the key executives involved in the Xbox One launch, it seemed like Whitten was ready to start a new chapter.
Now that some time has past since Whitten’s departure, Microsoft has sought fit to announce the Xbox One architect’s successor, or at least his spiritual successor. Microsoft Executive Phil Spencer will now head up the Xbox team, which includes both the Xbox and Xbox Live teams, and report to Microsoft Operating Systems Executive Terry Myerson.
At a glance, the selection of Phil Spencer makes sense for Microsoft’s future success. He has been a major player when it comes to Xbox news and a regular feature at E3 press conferences and console unveilings.
Moreover, any time there was a new Xbox One feature was in the pipeline — be it a dashboard update, or a new peripheral — Spencer was out there breaking the news. He also has been stressing Microsoft’s renewed focus in PC gaming. More importantly, though, Spencer has been a point of contact for fans curious about the future of the Xbox One on Twitter.
In addition to the official announcement from Microsoft regarding Spencer’s new position, Spencer himself addressed the Xbox faithful in a News Wire post. In the post, Spencer makes reference to many of the company’s future plans, everything from exclusive franchises to the new [email protected] program, without giving too much away.
This past year has been a growth experience both for me and for the entire Xbox team. We’ve taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer. Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.
Obviously, that future will soon come into focus after Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference, which is reportedly loaded with games. There, Microsoft is expected to unveil some of those aforementioned exclusives, alongside some completely unexpected games. 2014 could be really big for Microsoft if they play their cards right, and Phil Spencer will play an instrumental role in that.
How do you feel about Phil Spencer taking charge of the Xbox team? What would you like to see his first order of business in this new position be?