Confirmed: Ex Windows chief is the new Xbox boss as Julie Larson-Green replaces Don Mattrick

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The unconfirmed reports of last week have been transformed into confirmed truths this week, as it’s just been announced that Julie Larson-Green (previous head of Microsoft’s Windows division) has been named the chief of Microsoft’s Xbox hardware division, effectively replacing Don Mattrick who previously served as head of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business unit.


Following Mattrick’s exit from Microsoft to become the new CEO of Zynga, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was reported to have been considering a shuffle of the key leadership personalities at the company – a report that has  today been borne out as revealed in a company-wide address to Microsoft employees, where Larson-Green was named head of the Devices and Studios Engineering Group which covers “all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices [Microsoft builds].”

Further changes in Microsoft executive positions include the appointment of Tony Bates to head of developer relations, which will include relationships with Xbox One software developers (Bates previously served as head of Skype at Microsoft). Terry Myerson, meanwhile, will now take control of Microsoft’s Operating System unit, which also happens to involve work on Xbox One and its background functionality (Myerson was previously the head of Windows Phone developments).

A Far-reaching Realignment:

In the company-wide address, CEO Steve Ballmer wrote:

“Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world.”

How does Ballmer intend to keep a massive company like Microsoft competitive in the world he describes?

“Improving our performance has three big dimensions: focusing the whole company on a single strategy, improving our capability in all disciplines and engineering/technology areas, and working together with more collaboration and agility around our common goals. We will reshape how we interact with our customers, developers and key innovation partners, delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings.”

It’s tough to say how these executive appointments will affect the day-to-day running of Microsoft and its many divisions, but it does sound as though Ballmer is intent on unifying work done across the company and giving the Xbox and hardware division equal importance alongside the operating system division, which is great news for gamers.

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