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Microsoft's Shane Kim To Retire, Phil Spencer Promoted
Microsoft's Shane Kim To Retire, Phil Spencer Promoted
September 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo

September 14, 2009 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

Microsoft executive Shane Kim, long associated with Microsoft Game Studios and more recently the company's broader Interactive Entertainment Business division, will retire at the end of this year, after nearly two decades of employment with the Redmond, Washington firm.

Kim's retirement is set to be formally announced later today. Gamasutra confirmed the news with a Microsoft representative in advance of the official statement.

According to the rep's characterization of Kim's decision, he is not immediately taking a position with another company. "He expressed a desire to spend more time with family, so that's why he's making his retirement," said the spokesperson.

Kim's most recent full title was corporate vice president, strategy and business development, Interactive Entertainment Business. He has served with Microsoft for 19 years.

Along with that move comes the promotion of two other Microsoft executives, Phil Spencer and Dennis Durkin, who will inherit many of Kim's duties as Kim transitions out of the role over the next four months. Kim's role will not have a direct replacement.

Spencer is currently general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, a role Kim once held. He will become corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, and will continue "overseeing the entirety of first-party content at MGS." His current role will not be replaced, as his new job is largely an elevation of his existing duties.

Durkin is currently the CFO of Interactive Entertainment Business, and will be promoted to its COO, a newly-created role. He "and his team will be responsible for driving overall IEB business," the Microsoft rep told Gamasutra.

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David Brownfield
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Phil Spencer?!? Didn't he just get convicted of shooting and killing some washed up actress? (admittedly bad (joke))

Kevin Jones
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I never understood how Shane Kim maanged to rise so high at Microsoft. The guy is as clueless as they come.

I recall this interview he had with about RE5:

Kim: Yeah, but here's the thing: I think one of the most important, subtle announcements at the Xbox 360 briefing is that Resident Evil is coming to Xbox 360. Yes, it's from Capcom, who's been a great supporter of us.

GI: But we knew that two years ago.

Kim: What?

GI: Resident Evil. It was shown at TGS two years ago.

Kim: No, but coming to Xbox 360.

GI: Yeah. It was at the press event.

Kim: I don't think so.

GI: I'm positive. I was there.

Kim: Really?

GI: It was shown at both press conferences.

Kim: That RE5 was coming to�?

GI: Yep.

Kim: I'm going to have to confirm that. That was supposed to be the big announcement."

So, how exactly is it possible for a top Microsoft executive in the XBOX business to not know that Resident Evil 5 had been confirmed for the company's console, not two days ago, not two weeks ago, not two months ago, but two frikkin' years ago?

I have never seen any interview of this guy, that made any impression on me. He should have been sent to "spend time with his family" long ago.

Wolf Wozniak
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@Gomez Crumpett

Your name is silly.

Wolf Wozniak
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Also, its not really bashing if its a direct quote, in context.

Anyway, the guy's got a really common name anyway.


As the Lady Smith goes in for the kill.

Kevin Jones
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@ Gomez Crumpett:

"Perhaps the only thing more clueless than that mistake, is bashing a Microsoft exec, under your real name, on an industry trade site "

A guy that calls himself "Crumpett" is bashing my name?

You know what "crumpett" is slang for in England don't ya?

Back on point, your post doesn't make any sense.

I used Kim Shane's own words to show exactly how clueless the guy was about his own job that he was getting paid lots of money for.

Everyone knew RE5 had been announced 2 years before that interview, apart from Shane Kim, the guy that was supposed to know it more than anyone else.

@ Gomez Crumpett: "He begins with jewels like... "The guy is as clueless as they come."

Ummm. because it just happens to be the truth?

You might try that some time...telling the truth and dealing with the truth for a change.

Kevin Jones
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@ Brenda Smith

You raise some good points.

:"Almost the entire MGS managerial bunch is clueless."

I would tend to agree.

Not only that, they can't seem to manage well the game companies they aquire. Bungie wanted out after getting fed up with the incompetence of the MGS people.

MGS couldn't manage Ensemble Studios well either. They eventually ended up disbanding one of the best RTS developers there ever.

Same thing with FASA studios. Ex FASA studio exec Jordan Weisman, recently trashed MGS for their sheer clulesness and ability to run studios they aquire into the ground.

@ Brenda Smith:"It's no wonder people still despise MGS, except for their few hit games"

Well MGS themselves have't really done that much internally. Microsoft's biggest hits have come from Bungie(Halo) and Epic(Gears), both of then outside studios now.

@ Brenda Smith:"With all the RROD X360's out there I'm surprised the console is still doing okay"

That's because they have a rich uncle(Microsoft), to pay for all their screw ups and the tune of over $5 Billion in cumulative losses since the XBOX was first introduced in 2001.

If these guys worked for any other company in this country, and managed to lose a staggering $5 Bilion over 8 years, and are still making quarterly losses in the last 2 quarters, while at the same time, getting totally destroyed by Nintendo's Wii console in sales, while Nintendo continues to make vastly more profits than Microsoft 's XBOX business, they'd have been sacked long ago.

Mark Morrison
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@ Gomez. No disrespect intended here, but please do us a favor and let members share their opinions how they want, without ongoing warnings of eventual demise in this industry. I know a ton of people in this industry, executives included, who share their thoughts and critiques in the same unpredictable manner as Gamasutra members. While I might agree that many posts here seem extreme, it's a members right to share his/her opinions. Also, Gamasutra can be the 1st amendment police here since it's their site. Tx.

Mark Morrison
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okay, gomez. i hope you are entertaining yourself at least.