Xbox boss Phil Spencer will soon join the higher management ranks at Microsoft, according to ZDNet. At present, Spencer is serving as executive vice president of the Xbox division. This development also suggests that Microsoft is not spinning off its Xbox division.

Phil Spencer
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Phil Spencer is an integral part of Xbox

Microsoft has also confirmed the news as the promotion news about Phil Spencer is stated on its official website. He will be the 16th member to join the team of high-ranking management, which includes AI executive Harry Shum and CEO Satya Nadella, among others.

Phil Spencer has been at Microsoft for over three decades now. He will continue to head Xbox-related projects, but under the new title of executive vice president of Gaming at Microsoft. He will report directly to Nadella. According to Spencer’s new job profile, he will lead creative development and technical innovation while incorporating fun across gaming genres, audiences and devices.

After Nadella became CEO in 2014, Spencer was promoted to head of the Xbox division, replacing Marc Whitten. It was under Spencer’s guidance that the Xbox One S and Xbox One X were launched. Spencer also ensured that people recognize the Xbox as a gaming console rather than an entertainment device. He also contributed to the growth of Xbox Live, which at present has a monthly active user base of 52 million.

More importance to gaming

Nadella has been looking at the gaming division to fuel growth at the company for some time now. It was evident in May when he invited Phil Spencer to the company’s annual meeting for Wall Street analysts. At the time, Nadella stated that gaming is more than just console sales for Microsoft, adding that the company has high hopes for live streaming, social media and subscription services.

In June, Nadella listed in an internal memo the five core customer solution areas that he wanted to prioritize. They are applications and infrastructure, data and artificial intelligence, the modern workplace, business applications, and gaming.

Microsoft has come a long way from the time when analysts wanted the company to sell the Xbox unit. At that time, those in favor of spinning off the Xbox division argued that there were very few links between video gaming and Microsoft’s core business.

The Xbox One X Project Scorpio was well-received during the live preorder session, although Microsoft refrained from revealing any numbers. The company is now is all set to launch the second phase of live preorders. The console is being touted as the fastest-selling console ever. According to GameStop, the second round of preorders will start at noon Central Time on September 20.

Another strategic change

Apart from the promotion of Phil Spencer, Microsoft has made another major structural change. The Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) team, which is headed by executive Brad Anderson, will be shifted from the Cloud and Enterprise Division into WDG. This will enable them to build security features directly into Windows 10 and Surface devices, notes Business Insider.

During the launch of the Microsoft 365 subscriptions, the company made it quite clear that it wants higher integration and better security offerings in Windows. The Enterprise Mobility team, however, will continue to provide software and services on non-Windows platforms.