We had a chance to speak with Microsoft's President of the Entertainment & Devices Division, Robbie Bach, as well as Don Mattrick, the new Peter Moore, about Peter Moore's departure, which was announced
First, when asked how important one person is, and whether gamers should care about Moore's resignation, Bach responded that there is a group of gamers that track the industry and track its personalities, and that these gamers would care about the decision (that's you guys, if you're reading along at home). Bach suggested that, in the near term, Moore's departure will have "basically no effect. Halo 3
is still Halo 3
, and Don's not changing that. Peter wasn't changing that." However, if you look out two to three years, "a leader does have an impact." For example, Peter was "uniquely good at understanding the importance of communication." Bach described him as a "consummate speaker, marketer, and evangelist" for their product who did a "great job with gamers, the press and analyst community, and retail partners."
Alright, so we all know who Peter Moore is, but what about Don Mattrick? Bach said Mattrick will obviously be the new "public face" of their business, though his core talents are different from Moore's. Where Moore was focused on the marketing and strategy side, Mattrick will be focused more on their core product. So, while there was some overlap between Peter and Robbie, Bach feels that he and Don will work in slightly different ways. Of course, Don has been working as a "strategic adviser
" for the Entertainment & Devices division since February after leaving EA in 2005. So, was this a groomed succession or serendipity?
Bach says Peter approached him "maybe a month" ago, and then they approached Don about two to three weeks ago. So while Don was hired to help the broader entertainment business at Microsoft, his taking over of the games business is "fortuitous." Mr. Mattrick said he was surprised by Peter's decision to leave Xbox (so are we ... remember his relationship with EA Sports back when he was heading up Dreamcast?).
Lastly, we had to ask if the recent pitfalls facing Xbox had anything to do with Moore's decision to ride off into the Bay Area. Namely, the $1bil warranty writeoff
, narrowly missing their already reduced 12 million sales figures, and a general lack of profitability at Xbox overall. Bach responded that the timing was "circumstantial" and Moore's decision has "no relation to profits," and that Xbox is not even forecast to be profitable yet (that's coming up this fiscal year
So, we'll have to wait a couple years before we begin to see where the SS Xbox is headed under the watchful eye of Capt. Don Mattrick, but it sounds like Microsoft is happy with their choice. Now, Don, how do you feel about tattoos...?