Reorganization at Microsoft – for whom the Jeff Bell tolls

Microsoft announced last Thursday that some key executives will be assuming new roles. Head of Microsoft Game Studios Shane Kim will step up to the newly created post of Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Filling the void left by Kim will be Phil Spencer, formerly the general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Europe. And rounding out the shuffle is Jeff Bell, who will be ringing in the New Year somewhere else.

That is to say, the Corporate Vice President for Global Marketing will be leaving Microsoft in the fall. Many gamers will recall his uncomfortable media debut at E3 2007. Peter Moore was leaving Microsoft, and it seemed as if Bell were being groomed to be his replacement as the Microsoft press mouthpiece. That was short-lived, however, as Bell’s presentation (video above) ranged from uncomfortable (sounding like a used-car-salesman), to downright embarrassing (trash talking with Reggie Bush: “You got me on that one, brutha!”)

Despite being reviled by scores of gamers, Bell received some positive words from Microsoft. In the press release, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick said, “We thank Jeff for his achievements and contributions to Microsoft and the Xbox business. His innovative marketing programs included award-winning Xbox brand marketing campaigns, as well as world-renowned creative for ‘Gears of War’ and ‘Halo 3.’ We wish Jeff nothing but the best in his future endeavors.” I guess he can’t be all bad if he worked on the ‘Mad World’ Gears commercial, or the Halo 3 ‘Believe’ campaign…

As for Bell’s future endeavors, he said, “The time is right for me to pursue my life’s passion of consumer brand marketing and the creative and services that drive it. Coming from automotive [ed: See? He was a car salesman!], and now technology and entertainment, I am excited to expand to new industries and categories.” I’d have to shoot myself if my life’s passion was consumer brand marketing, but who am I to judge? Good luck, Mr. Bell!

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