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New Head Of Xbox Considered Selling The Business

Feb 25 2014, 10:51am CST | by

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New Head Of Xbox Considered Selling The Business
 
 

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New Head Of Xbox Considered Selling The Business

A months ago during the search for a new Microsoft CEO, former Nokia head and candidate Stephen Elop made headlines throughout the tech world by saying that he would consider selling healthy businesses that weren’t central to his strategy if he were put in charge –  most notably Bing and Xbox. Satya Nadella ended up with the job instead, and Elop has now been made been head of company’s devices and studios division, which, somewhat ironically, includes the Xbox.

The transition is detailed in an internal memo acquired by Tech Crunch, where current head Julia Larson-Green announces she will be leaving to lead the My Life and Work Group. Larson-Green took over for Don Mattrick, who left the company for ailing social gaming giant Zynga in July.

“I’m very proud of what we have accomplished during such a short timeframe.  We launched Xbox One, Surface 2 & Pro 2, blockbuster games like Forza and Ryse, a brand new Xbox Music and Video service, PPI, and some amazing unannounced innovations just to name a few – incredibly impressive!” she writes in the memo.

I don’t think that Elop’s public comments will be the last time the idea of selling Xbox off comes up at Microsoft. In a certain sense, the decision of what to do with that brand sits close to some the most basic decisions of what to do with Microsoft as a whole. Does the leadership continue its attempts to face the consumer with phones, tablets, game consoles and other angles into the profitable worlds of devices and entertainment? Or does it cede those categories to more established companies and pull back a little bit, instead focusing on its profitable enterprise products?

For right now, I imagine we’ll see Microsoft stick to its guns with products like the Xbox, despite recent leadership changes. The One is selling exceptionally well right now, even if it is trailing the PS4. Xbox is a shot at the living room prize — the unified experience of TV, streaming, games, social media, Skype, and whatever else the company can imagine. That’s been the brand’s goal more or less since it was established, and this generation is the first time it may actually have a chance of being realized. and if Microsoft does indeed want to push forward with consumer-facing devices, the Xbox brand is one of the few facets of its business widely associated with fun, and that alone may make it worth hanging on to.

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Source: Forbes

 

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