While Microsoft thrived with the Xbox 360, the Xbox One was an underwhelming follow-up to consumers. The console has had a somewhat lacking game library, but what really made the Xbox team trip at the starting line were the counterproductive always-online features and bungled messaging from executives such as Don Mattrick. After Mattrick jumped off the sinking ship to head for Zynga, Microsoft veteran Phil Spencer was appointed to head the tech company’s Xbox division. Not only did Spencer save the ship from sinking, but he course-corrected with a bigger focus on the games themselves—Microsoft seems to have noticed some positive change, as they just rewarded Spencer with a promotion.
Per Business Insider, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is reorganizing the corporate structure and will have a tighter-knit “executive leadership team,” a team that will include Spencer. As such, Spencer will report directly to Nadella, rather than Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group, as before. With this new place in Nadella’s inner circle comes a new title, “executive vice president of gaming.” While adding “executive” in front of anything is a surefire way to sound more important, it seems like Spencer really is getting his due. The executive has been a part of Microsoft since 1988, starting off as an intern.
Spencer must have a lot on his mind as of late, with a new console in the 4K-enabled Xbox One X hitting stores on Nov. 7. As reported, the launch should be quite big, with preorders setting an Xbox record. We presume that Spencer will remain the frontman for Xbox’s press conference presentations, changing his T-shirts in between appearances to show off his nerd-dom. Spencer took to Twitter to thank his followers after the big news.
Meanwhile, while Don Mattrick joined Zynga as their new CEO in 2013, he is no longer in that position as of 2015. The worldwide search for Mattrick’s whereabouts continues.