Phil Spencer
Spencer in 2015
Born (1968-01-12) January 12, 1968 (age 56)
Other namesP3 (gamertag)[1][2]
Alma materUniversity of Washington
Occupation(s)Founder and CEO of Microsoft Gaming
EmployerMicrosoft (1988–present)
AwardsD.I.C.E. Lifetime Achievement Award (2022)

Phil Spencer (born January 12, 1968)[3] is an American business executive and the CEO of Microsoft Gaming.[4] Starting his career at Microsoft as an intern in 1988, Spencer has worked in various sectors within the company, including developing Microsoft's first CD-ROM-based titles. He joined the Xbox team in 2001.


Spencer joined Microsoft in 1988 as an intern and has worked in a number of technical roles, leading the development of Microsoft's first CD-ROM-based titles (such as Encarta), development manager for Microsoft Money, and general manager of Microsoft's online and offline consumer productivity products including Microsoft Works and Microsoft Picture It![5][6] During his early time at Microsoft, he was known by other employees to be an avid gamer, playing games such as Ultima Online in the office.[7]

With the launch of the Xbox in 2001, Spencer joined the Xbox team and served as general manager of Microsoft Game Studios EMEA, working with Microsoft's European developers and studios such as Lionhead Studios and Rare until 2008, when he became the general manager of Microsoft Studios, eventually becoming the studio's corporate vice president a year later.[6][8] He has participated in Microsoft's E3 conferences since 2010.[9][10][11][12]

In late March 2014, Satya Nadella announced in a corporate e-mail that Spencer was to "lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Groove Music and Movies & TV teams, and Microsoft Studios" as part of the Windows and Devices division.[8][13]

In September 2017, Spencer was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team, gaining the title of Executive Vice President of Gaming and reporting directly to CEO Satya Nadella.[14]

In 2018, Spencer delivered the keynote address at the 2018 DICE Summit[15] and spoke at the 2018 Game Awards.[16]

In January 2022, along with the announcement of Microsoft's intent to acquire Activision Blizzard,[17] Spencer was promoted to the role of CEO of Microsoft Gaming.[18]

Since taking over both Xbox and the Gaming division, Spencer has advocated for cross-platform play, as well as launched key initiatives, such as reintroducing backward compatibility to the Xbox platform, the purchase of Mojang and Bethesda, the further development and support of Minecraft, the introduction of Xbox Game Pass, launching the Xbox Adaptive Controller, an increased focus on PC gaming, porting some Microsoft published games to other platforms including the Nintendo Switch, the launch of xCloud, and increasing the number of first-party development studios.[19]

Spencer received the Lifetime Achievement award at the 25th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards on February 24, 2022,[20] and the Andrew Yoon Legend award at the New York Game Awards on January 17, 2023.[21]

Personal life

Spencer attended Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield, Washington, and then earned a bachelor's degree in technical and scientific communication from the University of Washington.[7] Spencer lives in the Seattle area with his wife and two daughters.[22]

He serves on the boards of the First Tee of Greater Seattle and the Entertainment Software Association.[5]


  1. ^ "Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) | Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved June 26, 2018. Gamer Tag: P3
  2. ^ Ekberg, Brian (December 11, 2017). "Introducing Forza Motorsport 7's December Bounty Hunter: Phil Spencer - Xbox Wire". Xbox. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Kerry, Ben (January 12, 2023). "Head Of Xbox Phil Spencer Celebrates His 55th Birthday Today". Pure Xbox. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  4. ^ "Welcoming the Incredible Teams and Legendary Franchises of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft Gaming". Xbox. January 18, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Phil Spencer". Xbox. Archived from the original on June 21, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Kinect Accelerator Mentor: Phil Spencer". Microsoft. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Tilley, Aaron (February 3, 2022). "Microsoft's Videogame Boss and the Long Battle to Reinvent the Company". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 3, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Peckham, Matt (March 31, 2014). "Welcome Phil Spencer, Microsoft's New Xbox-Everything Honcho". Time. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  9. ^ Cowen, Nick (July 15, 2010). "E3 2010: Phil Spencer interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Phil Spencer E3 2011 Interview". G4tv. June 7, 2011. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "E3 2012: Phil Spencer Post-Conference Interview". June 5, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "E3 2013: Phil Spencer Talks Xbox One Lineup". YouTube. GameTrailers. June 10, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "Satya Nadella email to employees on tuning our organization". Microsoft. March 31, 2014. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Weinberger, Matt (September 19, 2017). "Microsoft Xbox boss Phil Spencer just got a big promotion, and will now report directly to CEO Satya Nadella". Business Insider. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  15. ^ Takahashi, Dean (February 23, 2018). "The DeanBeat: Microsoft's Phil Spencer steps up as a diversity leader". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Takahashi, Dean (December 7, 2018). "Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo get up on stage at The Game Awards". VentureBeat. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  17. ^ Warren, Tom (January 18, 2022). "Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion". The Verge. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  18. ^ Warren, Tom (January 18, 2022). "Read Microsoft Gaming CEO's email to staff about the Activision Blizzard acquisition". The Verge. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  19. ^ Parker, Laura (December 19, 2019). "Phil Spencer Is Exactly Who You Think He Is". GameSpot. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Kim, Matt (February 2, 2022). "Phil Spencer to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 25th Annual DICE Awards". IGN. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  21. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (January 19, 2023). "New York Game Awards 2023: Elden Ring Wins Two Awards as Phil Spencer Is Honored". IGN. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  22. ^ "Phil Spencer" (PDF). Xbox. Retrieved April 7, 2023.