Following the announcement that Don Mattrick, former head of gaming at Microsoft who was there when Xbox One was unveiled, is leaving Microsoft and the Xbox team to join Zynga as its CEO, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent an e-mail internally to all of Microsoft's employees.
In it, Ballmer says that "Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday." In other words, it seems as though Ballmer himself will, at least for the time being, fill in for Mattrick at head of gaming and thus be in charge of everything Xbox One related.
Obviously, Xbox One's unveiling and subsequent E3 showcase have not been without controversy, endless questions, and other major change-ups in addition to this one, so be sure to keep an eye on Microsoft's strategy from now until Xbox One's release in November now that leadership has shifted.
Check out the full e-mail Ballmer sent internally to Microsoft below:
From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, July 1, 2013
To: Microsoft – All Employees
Subject: Don Mattrick's Next Chapter
Zynga announced today that Don Mattrick would be its new CEO, effective July 8. This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success. Don's directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday.
Since joining IEB more than six years ago, Don and his team have accomplished much. Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million. Xbox 360 became the No. 1 selling console in North America the past two years. We introduced Kinect and have sold more than 24 million sensors. We released fantastic games, and, most importantly, we expanded Xbox to go beyond great gaming to deliver all the entertainment people want - sports, music, movies, live television and much more.
In the past month, the IEB team showed for the first time here on our Redmond campus, and again at E3, how we are going to continue to transform entertainment with Xbox One. I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One.
I'm particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft. The consoles are incredible all-in-one devices with built-in services that consumers love, including Bing, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive and Skype. And, just as important, Xbox Games, Xbox Video, Xbox Music and SmartGlass light up Windows PCs, tablets and phones.
Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry. The strong leadership team at IEB and their teams are well positioned to deliver the next-generation entertainment console, as well as transformative entertainment experiences, long into the future.