Microsoft shifts online veteran to run Xbox marketing

Microsoft online business veteran Yusuf Mehdi will become head of marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Division that includes the Xbox game division, the company said today.

Mehdi was previously in charge of the company’s online services division. He will report to Don Mattrick, president of the interactive entertainment business.

Currently the chief audience officer for online services, Mehdi will start his new job as chief marketing officer for the game business Dec. 5. Mehdi has spent more than a decade at Microsoft’s online services business, working on everything from MSN to Live Search and strategic deals with Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and Nokia.

At the Xbox division, Mehdi’s job will be to continue to expand brand recognition for Microsoft as a global entertainment player.

Mattrick said in a memo that Mehdi replaces Mike Delman, who has decided to retire from Microsoft at the end of the year. Delman became head of game global marketing in 2008 and helped move Xbox marketing from a hardcore games brand to a broader entertainment brand for everyone.

“The time is right for Mike and the business to transition as we embark on our next journey to significantly grow our business in the next five years,” Mattrick said.

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