Xbox Chief Peter Moore Leaves Microsoft

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Microsoft announced today that Peter Moore, the head of its Xbox and Games for Windows businesses, has resigned from the company.

Moore will stay on through August to assist in the transition. In a statement, Microsoft says Moore has decided to move his family back to northern California and pursue "another opportunity in the video game industry."

What Microsoft doesn’t say is that Moore’s new position is as president of Electronic Art’s EA Sports label, home to titles like Madden NFL,NBA Live, and FIFA Soccer.

"The people at EA SPORTS have created one of the strongest brands in the entertainment industry," said Moore in an Electronic Arts release. "John Riccitiello is building an organization which will extend the company’s leadership to new platforms and new audiences all over the world. I couldn’t be more excited about joining EA and moving my family back to the San Francisco Bay Area."

Moore lived in the SF Bay area before joining Microsoft in 2003.

Stepping into Moore’s role as corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business will be Don Mattrick, a former executive at video game developer and publisher Electronic Arts. Mattrick joined EA when his own company, Distinctive Software, Inc., merged with EA in 1991. Mattrick held various senior positions at EA until he resigned in February 2006; a year later, he signed on as an external advisor to Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division.

"While Peter will certainly be missed, we are delighted to have one of the industry’s most talented and passionate veterans on board to lead the business," said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, in a statement. "Don is well-known and respected throughout the industry for his deep knowledge, technical expertise and management savvy. Under Don’s leadership, the games team is looking forward to embarking on our biggest holiday ever, with a wide-ranging roster of some of the most highly anticipated titles."

Under Moore’s leadership, the Xbox has generally come to be regarded as a success in the video game industry, and efforts with Xbox Live Marketplace with the Xbox 360 have been particularly successful. However, Moore has faced pressures to deliver better numbers: the console has never racked up the sales numbers Microsoft hoped for, particularly in markets like Japan, and Microsoft has now set aside over $1 billion to pay for high rates of failure in the Xbox 360 console.

[Thumbnail image from gamerscoreblog, used under Creative Commons license.]

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