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Julie Larson-Green takes point as Xbox chief

Microsoft veteran and Windows chief Julie Larson-Green has been named head of Microsoft's reorganized games and entertainment division. Windows Phone lead Terry Myerson has also been named head of OS.
In a memo released this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced a significant reorganization of the company, folding Microsoft's Xbox division into an overarching "Devices and Studios Engineering Group." The same memo also names Julie Larson-Green, previously in charge of Windows products, as the head of the new division. Larson-Green fills a shifted role which encompasses many of the responsibilities held by Don Mattrick, who recently left the company for a CEO position at Zynga. "Julie Larson-Green will lead this group and will have all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices we build [as well as] take responsibility for our studios experiences including all games, music, video and other entertainment," Ballmer explains in the memo. In addition to Larson-Green, the memo also names Terry Myerson as being put in charge of the "Operating Systems Engineering Group," which will include the Xbox OS. Ballmer continues:

"We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company -- not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands."
This philosophy of consolidation is in keeping with the Xbox One's promotion as not so much a video game console but as an "all-in-one entertainment system," to use Microsoft's turn of phrase. Larson-Green is a twenty-year veteran of Microsoft. A self-taught programmer, she joined Microsoft in 1993 as a program manager for Visual C++, and led UI design for a number of Windows projects, as well as overseeing the launches of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Myerson is a former software entrepreneur who joined the company in 1997, and previously led Microsoft's Windows Phone division. Aaron Greenberg has also announced via Twitter that he will be continuing on with Microsoft as Larson-Green's Chief of Staff.

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