Shane Kim -- who, last year became the Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) -- is leaving the company, according to a September 15 post on Gamespot.
Phil Spencer took Kim's job last June and became the head of Microsoft Game Studios. Now Spencer has been named the Corporate Vice President of that unit.
There have been rumors circulating for years that Kim was likely to be one of the victims of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment house cleaning. But Gamespot is reporting that Kim's retirement, after 19 years with Microsoft, is completely voluntary and is because he wants to spend more time with his family.
Update: A Microsoft Xbox spokesperson told me Shane's responsibilities are "transitioning to a newly created role in IEB which is the COO position." Dennis Durkin who is currently the Chief Financial Officer of IEB is taking on the COO role reporting to Don Mattrick, the Senior Vice President in charge of IEB.
Here is an excerpt from the internal email that was sent this morning...
"After 19 years with Microsoft, fourteen of which were in the IEB, Shane Kim has made the decision to retire at the end of the year. Shane's been an instrumental leader in the evolution of Microsoft Game Studios and the Xbox business - from the early days of Flight Simulator and Golf to the launch of the original Xbox, to the successful launches for two of the biggest entertainment franchises in the industry - Halo and Gears of War. Shane's passion for this business and industry runs deep and he will be dearly missed. Having dedicated the last two decades to Microsoft, Shane is eager to make up for lost time with his family and friends."