Xbox team moves to forefront in Microsoft restructure

Microsoft Corp. is restructuring its entertainment group into four divisions, a move that gives more control to executives that oversaw the Xbox 360.

Microsoft has restructured its entertainment division into four divisions, a move that gives more control to executives who oversaw the development and launch of the Xbox 360 game console.

As a result of the restructuring, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices group would have four divisions, including the Entertainment Business division, which would handle music, TV and video, and the Interactive Entertainment Business division, which wouldoversee the gaming business, including the Xbox, Microsoft spokesman, Carlos de Leon, said.

The two other divisions under Entertainment and Devices were the Consumer Productivity eXperiences Business, led by Tom Gibbons, and the Mobile and Embedded Business and the Communications Sector, led by Pieter Knook, de Leon said.

Xbox executives taking a larger role as a result of this restructuring include Bryan Lee, the former head of finance for the Xbox division, and Peter Moore, who led the Xbox 360 marketing effort.

Lee will now manage the Entertainment Business division, and Moore will head up the Interactive Entertainment Business division. The restructuring also creates three functional groups that will work across the four divisions, he said.

J Allard, one of the Xbox 360 designers, will lead one of these groups, the Experiences and Design for Gaming and Entertainment.

The other two functional groups are the Media, Content and Partner Strategy Group and Retail Sales and Marketing Group. Blair Westlake, a corporate vice-president who works on licensing and strategic partnerships with entertainment properties, will move his team from the Windows Client division to form the Media, Content and Partner Strategy Group. Mitch Koch, who led Xbox 360's retail effort, will head up the Retail Sales and Marketing Group.

The president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, Robbie Bach, also takes on new responsibility in the restructuring. He now will lead the company's MSN Music business and manage Microsoft's relationships with partners, including music and movie companies. Bach who led the development of the Xbox 360, assumed this role in September.

Microsoft made the organisational changes to make its entertainment division more agile, and give individual business teams and their leaders more autonomy, de Leon said.

"We wanted to avoid the scenario that all decisions in the division needed to go up to Robbie [Bach]," he said.

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