The Verge reported Microsoft’s announcement on Oct 26, noting that Bond will now manage all of Xbox’s hardware and software platforms.
“To manage the platform of today and build the platform of tomorrow, we are bringing together the teams that will make this possible,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in a memo The Verge obtained. “Sarah Bond will lead this team as President of Xbox — bringing together Devices, Player and Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data and Analytics and Business Development.”
The new Xbox president joined Microsoft in 2017 as Corporate Vice President of Gaming Partnerships and Business Development for the Xbox division before becoming the Corporate Vice President of Xbox in 2020.
In the six years of working for Microsoft’s Xbox division, she has directed the company’s relationships with worldwide game creators, building and marketing their products and services — not just for Xbox but with Azure and Microsoft 365. She also was behind Microsoft’s acquisition of gaming studio Activision Blizzard.
ID@Xbox interviewed Bond last year, where she explained what drove her to work for the most prominent gaming publishing company in the world.
“I actually played games starting out as a kid,” Bond explained. “It was something I always did with my dad. The first game I can remember playing was King’s Quest II when I was about 6 or 7 years old.”
After attending business school, Bond became interested in consumer tech, which she states is an avenue many companies had yet to expand.
“There was no Facebook, there was no iPhone,” Bond said. “All of tech was considered to be commercial business. And I decided, though, because I like consumer things and I like tech, that I was going to do consumer tech, and people thought that was a little strange.”
Once consumer tech took off, Bond would go on to work for T-Mobile for six years before Microsoft presented her with an opportunity to work for their gaming team.
To Bond, the transition from T-Mobile to Microsoft’s Xbox allowed her to view the industry through a different lens.
“All I had to care about was like four actors…T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon,” she said. “Maybe you’re thinking about like Apple for iPhone and Google for Android. Then I came to gaming, and I realized that there were thousands and thousands of developers, creators, different platforms. And it was like looking at a constellation of stars. I was just like, ‘Oh, this is so cool.'”
She continued, “I can see it all. A lot of people work in our industry, but they don’t get the opportunity to actually see all of those patterns…my role literally requires me to look out and to understand what’s going on for all of the different players.”
Microsoft’s administrative shift saw an increase in women assuming leadership positions, which came before the departure of Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, happening towards the end of 2023.
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