When rumors of Microsoft's next CEO began to circulate, Stephen Elop was said to be on the shortlist of candidates. It was reported that his leadership would lead to Microsoft getting rid of numerous businesses that weren't core to its enterprise strategy. One of those businesses was Xbox, and now he's about to get a lot more intimate with the division he was once reportedly going to kill.
TechCrunch got a hold of an internal memo from current Xbox boss Julie Larson-Green in which she announced her departure from the Devices and Studios group. Stephen Elop will be taking her place as head of the division once the Nokia merger is complete.
With Elop's move to the Devices and Studios group, he will be overseeing more than just Xbox. The division is responsible for all the hardware that Microsoft produces, including Surface and Windows Phone. With Microsoft now producing its own hardware thanks to its acquisition of Nokia, it only makes sense for Elop to head up this part of the company.
So, what does this mean for the division? It's a little too early to tell at this moment, but I think fans of Surface, Xbox and Windows Phone have nothing to worry about. Elop may have gotten rid of Xbox if he were CEO, but he's not CEO. The final decision to get rid of any particular division rests with new CEO Satya Nadella and his close relationship with both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer will probably ensure its future.
In short, Microsoft's Devices and Studios group will probably keep doing what it's been doing as it changes hands. Elop will probably have his hands full dealing with Windows Phone and Nokia so the Xbox and Surface teams will likely be left to their own devices.
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