According to a report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Microsoft has reorganized its consumer businesses to better compete with Apple, Sony, and other digital entertainment companies. The changes place key Xbox executives at the company in charge of Microsoft's wider consumer efforts, elevating that product team to a unique leadership role within the software giant.
According to the WSJ report, Robbie Bach, currently president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, will now be responsible for the MSN Music business and the company's relationships with music labels, movie studios, cable channels, and broadcasters. "My role is evolving to focus more on longer-term strategy, partner relationships, and business management within \[Entertainment and Devices\] and across the company," Bach wrote in an internal memo cited by the report. "The market is rife with new opportunities. Yet we face a strong group of competitors."
As part of the reorganization, the Entertainment and Devices Division will consist of four business groups, including two new businesses: Entertainment Business (responsible for the company's music, TV and video efforts) and the Interactive Entertainment Business (responsible for controlling the company's Xbox and PC video game businesses). The other two businesses, for mobile devices and consumer software, already exist and will remain unchanged.
Executives previously responsible for Xbox are distributed throughout the new consumer organization. Bryan Lee, a vice president and previously the finance chief of the Xbox division, will manage the new Entertainment Business. Peter Moore, a Microsoft vice president previously responsible for Xbox marketing, will oversee the new Interactive Entertainment Business. And Microsoft vice president J. Allard, previously responsible for the Xbox 360 developer tools, has been promoted to a position in which he will coordinate strategy across the four new consumer business groups.