Microsoft is set to reorganise the leadership structure of Xbox, following the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which was completed earlier in October 2023. While operations will seemingly continue as normal, executives Sarah Bond and Matt Booty will be promoted, with both taking on more active roles at the company.
Per details revealed by The Verge, Sarah Bond has been promoted to Xbox president – notably, she will be the very first female president of Xbox – and will have oversight of the Xbox hardware and software business.
As announced by Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer in an internal memo, “Sarah Bond will lead this team as President of Xbox — bringing together Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development.”
Following this change, and the planned departure of Bobby Kotick, The Verge notes Microsoft will have more women in gaming leadership roles than men – which is incredibly rare, and frankly refreshing in a space that has historically been dominated by men.
Matt Booty is also taking on a new role at the company, being promoted to president of game content and studios, with new oversight for ZeniMax and Bethesda.
“ZeniMax will continue to operate as a limited integration entity led by Jamie Leder, President and CEO, reporting to Matt,” Phil Spencer said. “Great games are fundamental to everything we do.”
“We believe that an expanded gaming content organisation – one that enables Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax’s development studios to collaborate effectively together – will empower those world-class studios to do their best work in growing our portfolio of games players love.”
It appears Booty’s role is more akin to being an overseer, bridging a gap between Microsoft and its studios. The Verge has speculated these changes may relate to the development of Redfall, which was fairly disastrous for Bethesda and Arkane Studios. In the weeks following launch, Phil Spencer claimed much of the project’s issues could be blamed on a lack of communication.
“When we acquire studios, there are games that are in development, and then there’s things that are either really early in development or not even conceived yet,” Spencer said at the time. “I think we need to improve in engaging with games that are mid-way through production when they become part of Xbox.”
With Sarah Bond and Matt Booty now stepping into newly-formed roles with greater degrees of power and oversight, there is hope that Xbox will be a more coherent, organised unit going forward. As Activision Blizzard joins its roster of studios, there will likely be more incoming changes and tweaks made to the company’s structure.