Julie Larson-Green, who was formally the head of Microsoft’s Windows division, will be taking Don Mattrick’s place as head of the Xbox division, following his departure to Zynga. This re-assignment was officially announced today on the official Microsoft website by no other than Steve Balmer himself.
“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,” Ballmer wrote.
“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,” he added. “We will reshape how we interact with our customers, developers and key innovation partners, delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings.”
I both approve and disapprove of this positioning. I give this decision a thumbs-up because it’s cool to see more women come out on-stage in the gaming industry, I’m all for that. But at the same time, I simply don’t think that Ms. Larson-Green games, or has any knowledge of gaming at all. Which isn’t a requirement or necessity by any means. But Don Mattrick had no passion for gaming, judging from his silence when Mr. Lucas and Spielberg slammed video games right in front of the guy’s face. So my point is, it’d be nice to get who will be the face of Xbox for the rest of who-knows-how-long to be somebody who has a genuine passion for gaming.
But I digress, you don’t need to be a gamer to know how to run a business (although gaming knowledge would definitely help), so we’ll have to wait and see what Julie Larson-Green can do.by