Phil Spencer named Microsoft Gaming CEO following Activision Blizzard deal

Phil Spencer Xbox 20 Celebration
Phil Spencer Xbox 20 Celebration (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard in a landmark move for the company.
  • Following the announcement, Phil Spencer revealed that he is now named CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
  • Microsoft's gaming leadership is now completely unified under Spencer, including Microsoft's gaming marketing team.
  • Once the Activision Blizzard deal is completed, the company's leadership will also report directly to Spencer.

All eyes are on Microsoft on Tuesday, following the company's announcement that it's moving to acquire Activision Blizzard in a monumental $70 billion deal. The acquisition has considerable ramifications for Xbox and the gaming industry as a whole, but it also heralds a shift internally for Microsoft. In an email to all Microsoft Xbox employees, Phil Spencer announced that he has acquired a brand-new title and heads Microsoft's freshly unified gaming leadership.

Spencer, previously operating under the lengthy "Executive Vice-President of Gaming at Microsoft" title (and more commonly referred to as the "Head of Xbox") is now officially CEO, Microsoft Gaming. Simultaneously, all of Microsoft's gaming leadership now report directly to Spencer, including Jerret West, CMO of Gaming, and his marketing team. Once the Activision Blizzard deal is finally completed, the company's leadership will also report directly to Spencer moving forward.

As CEO, Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer is in charge of everything gaming and Xbox at Microsoft. Aside from the benefits proffered by the unification of all gaming leadership and corresponding teams, it also goes hand-in-hand with the Activision Blizzard deal to signify just how seriously Microsoft takes its gaming ventures. Xbox is a significant section of Microsoft, and it'll only continue to grow as time goes on. In particular, the Activision Blizzard deal means a lot for Xbox as a whole.

Xbox Game Pass now boasts of over 25 million subscribers, a number that will likely only continue to rise as Microsoft begins adding Activision Blizzard games to the service.

Microsoft also intends to leverage Activision Blizzard in its efforts to develop new metaverse platforms, a business venture that many companies are beginning to invest in heavily. Phil Spencer, as CEO of Microsoft Gaming, plays an integral role in executing these visions and continuing to develop the best Xbox games, fostering a culture of inclusivity and accessibility, and bringing gaming to more people in general.

In his email, Spencer stated, "Microsoft is committed to our journey for inclusion in every aspect of gaming, among both employees and players. We deeply value individual studio cultures. We also believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment. We're looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard."

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.