Microsoft names new Xbox chief, promotes enterprise/cloud chief

|About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)|By:, SA News Editor

Phil Spencer, until now the head of Microsoft's (MSFT +2.4%) game studios, is now in charge of the entire Xbox unit (hardware, games, Xbox Live). He takes command of a business that has seen several high-profile departures over the last year (inc. division chief Don Mattrick and product chief Marc Whitten).

Interestingly, Spencer will report to OS chief Terry Myerson rather than Stephen Elop, who will be in charge of Microsoft's other hardware ops once the Nokia deal closes (taking over from Julie-Larson Green). His gaming background is particularly noteworthy in light of how the PS4's strong gaming focus (along with its lower price) is seen as contributing to its sales lead over the Xbox One.

Also: Microsoft has made former Azure development chief Scott Guthrie the permanent head of its enterprise/cloud ops (includes products previously within the Server & Tools unit), and promoted him to the status of EVP. Guthrie has been enterprise/cloud's acting chief since Satya Nadella was named CEO.

Shares are making fresh bubble highs amid a tech rally.