Xbox Head Phil Spencer Considered Departing Microsoft


Microsoft’s corporate vice president and head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, considered leaving Microsoft back in 2004.

Xbox co-creator said this during an interview with IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey. In an IGN Unfiltered episode, McCaffrey talked with Fries about his career at Microsoft and his wishes for the Xbox brand.

Phil Spencer asked Fries if he should leave as well

Apparently, when Fries decided to leave Microsoft back in January of 2004, Spencer asked Fries if he should quit as well.

“When I decided to quit Microsoft, I had 1200 people working for me, one person walked into my office and said—“Should I quit too?—and that was Phil Spencer. And I said, “No Phil, you don’t have to quit, you should stay and make this better”. . . He’s done a great job of fixing things”, Fries told IGN.

Spencer joined Microsoft in 1988 and has fulfilled several roles at the company. He was appointed general manager of Microsoft Studios worldwide in 2008, and was promoted to corporate Vice President a year later. Upon the departure of Microsoft’s former head of Xbox, Marc Whitten, Spencer was appointed as the new head of Xbox in 2014.

“I will now be leading the Xbox, Xbox Live, and creative teams including Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios as we deliver the next generation of games and entertainment," Spencer wrote upon his appointment.

Fries is Microsoft’s former vice president of game publishing, and has been responsible for important acquisitions such as Bungie, Ensemble Studios, and Rare. Interesting to note is that Rare was almost purchased by publisher Activision back in 2002. Luckily, Microsoft’s Robbie Bach increased the bid for Rare.

“In fact, Activision almost did…so we put in a bid, and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we’re going to lose the deal”, Fries told IGN in the same episode of IGN Unfiltered.

What is your opinion on Spencer at Microsoft? Do you believe he's been good for the brand in general?