Windows Phone GM Switches to Xbox Unit
More shuffling is taking place within Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division.
The latest example concerns Matt Bencke, formerly the general manager of developer and marketplace at Microsoft's Windows Phone Division. Bencke left that position recently to become a GM within the Microsoft Xbox team. Both product lines are organized under the Entertainment and Devices Division.
Bencke's transfer was announced internally toward the end of November, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported in December, citing unnamed sources. A LinkedIn profile describes Bencke leaving the Windows Phone Division for the Xbox unit in December. A Tweet from Bencke on Monday made the switch official: "#WP7 devs: so long and thx for all the great apps! I'm off to work on #Xbox!"
Bencke's new title is general manager for Xbox Live subscriptions and customer experience.
Bencke held his Windows Phone GM role for just over a year. Prior to that, he served for three years as a general manager in Microsoft's Premium Mobile Experiences group, which Microsoft formed in 2008 after it acquired mobile software developer Danger Inc. Microsoft's efforts with Danger, which once powered T-Mobile's Sidekick line of smartphones, flopped last year when T-Mobile switched to Android. The group hit another setback last summer when the Microsoft Kin, a social media-focused smartphone, was discontinued after just two months on the market.
Bencke is part of a recent string of executive comings and goings within the Windows Phone Division. In August 2011, Charlie Kindel, a 21-year Microsoft veteran and, at the time, general manager of Windows Phone Developer Experience, left the company for a startup.
In November, Gavin Kim, formerly the vice president of Samsung's Consumer & Enterprise Services division, joined Microsoft as a general manager of Windows Phone Product Marketing.
In early December, Andy Lees, then-president of the Windows Phone Division, was moved to an as-yet unspecified role that is "focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8," according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's announcement. Stepping into Lees' role was Terry Myerson, then-corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division.