Microsoft Xbox Marketing Chief Leaves For Roblox

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Microsoft loses Xbox marketing chief amidst executive changes in company’s gaming division, broader layoffs and spending weakness

Microsoft’s Xbox chief marketing officer Jerret West is to leave the company at the end of June to become the chief marketing officer at Roblox, in the latest shakeup at Microsoft’s gaming division.

The division has been undergoing significant restructuring this year after Microsoft completed its $75 billion (£59bn) acquisition of Activision Blizzard late last year, and amidst broader spending weakness in the industry.

West spent eight years at Microsoft in Xbox marketing before leaving in 2011 and serving for seven years as Netflix’s head of marketing.

He returned to Microsoft in late 2019 and led marketing for the launch of the Xbox Series S and Series X consoles.

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Image credit: Unsplash

Marketing reshuffle

In the wake of his departure Microsoft is to reshuffle some marketing teams and will expand its central gaming marketing team under Kirsten Ward, vice president of Xbox integrated marketing, said Microsoft Gaming chief executive Phil Spencer in an internal memo.

He said games marketing would now be placed within the games content and studios division headed by Matt Booty, while Xbox marketing would move to the Xbox organisation and report to Xbox president Sarah Bond.

“Going forward, the Gaming Leadership Team and I have decided to place marketing closer to the businesses they support,” Spencer wrote.

Kareem Choudhry, former head of Xbox emerging technologies, left Microsoft in early April, triggering a similar reshuffle.

Microsoft shut down multiple gaming studios and consolidated teams in May in a cost-cutting move, including closing Arkane Austin.

Job cuts

In January Microsoft cut 9 percent of the gaming division staff, or about 1,900 workers, amidst broader job cuts in the sector.

The cuts, which saw Electronic Arts lay off 5 percent of its staff in March, followed massive hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when consumers were broadly increasing spending on electronics.