Microsoft's CEO names Phil Spencer as head of Xbox alongside other executive shake-ups

Microsoft's new chief has announced three changes on the executive level ahead of the company's Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Satya Nadella emailed employees on Monday, revealing new management decisions that'll enable Microsoft to "thrive and grow in a mobile-first, cloud-first world." Specifically, he said Phil Spencer has been promoted and will helm the Xbox and Xbox Live divisions, which includes Xbox's software, and that Spencer, who previously served as vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, will report directly to Terry Myerson, the head of Windows.

"You will hear much more as we head into E3, but we are at the beginning of an incredible new chapter for Xbox and I can’t wait for the days and years ahead," wrote Spencer in a separate post on the Xbox blog. "This is going to be fun."

Marc Whitten, the previous chief product officer for Xbox, abruptly left his long-time executive role at Microsoft in early March to become the chief product officer at Sonos. Whitten was responsible for a lot of the Xbox's success - as he was one of the main people behind the launch of the Xbox One, Xbox 360, original Xbox, and Xbox Live. Whitten joined the Xbox team in 2000.

READ: Executive in charge of Xbox suddenly leaves Microsoft

Nadella also announced Scott Guthrie will oversee the cloud and enterprise side of Microsoft. This decision isn't too surprising, because he has been the acting leader of that business for roughly two months. Nadella used to serve as Microsoft's cloud boss before becoming CEO, though he has officially passed that torch to Guthrie, who has been with Microsoft for more than 15 years.

And finally, Nadella confirmed that Stephen Elop, Nokia's former chief executive, will become the executive vice president of Microsoft's devices business. Elop will report directly to Nadella, and as part of his new role, he will manage Windows Phone, Surface, and Xbox hardware.