Microsoft's Spencer promoted, Kim retiring

MGS GM promoted to corporate VP as 19-year company veteran announces plans to step down; Dennis Durkin appointed COO of Interactive Entertainment Business.

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One year and three months ago, Phil Spencer was appointed general manager of Microsoft Game Studios. Today, Microsoft announced that the executive has once again been promoted, this time to corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. The first-party publishing label has been responsible for such Xbox 360 exclusives as Gears of War 2 and Fable II and will distribute the forthcoming Halo 3: ODST and Alan Wake.

Spencer and Kim onstage at D.I.C.E. 2008.
Spencer and Kim onstage at D.I.C.E. 2008.

Historically, Microsoft Game Studios has also published PC titles such as the discontinued Age of Empires and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Its last corporate vice president, John Schappert, left Microsoft in June to become chief operating officer of Electronic Arts.

Microsoft Game Studios is part of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, which itself saw some executive changes today. Shane Kim, current corporate vice president of IEB's strategy and business development, has announced he will be retiring this fall after 19 years at Microsoft. A spokesperson confirmed that the move was completely voluntary, with Kim saying a desire to spend more time with his friends and family lay behind the decision.

In other IEB news, Dennis Durkin, the current head of the division's financial operations, is to become its chief operating officer, a newly created position. A Microsoft rep said Durkin's duties would be to "lead the charge" and "to continue and focus the business."

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