Xbox marketer handed top Microsoft Euro post

Xbox European marketing director Neil Thompson has been promoted to director of Microsoft’s home and entertainment division for the whole of Central and Southern Europe.

Microsoft has split up its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division – leading to the creation of the new Central and Southern Europe region – to bring its senior management closer to each country. Thompson says: “We are putting more focus into our sales regions and giving them greater empowerment.”

Thompson will be in charge of the biggest region, encompassing (despite its name) Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The other four regions are France, Germany, Northern Europe and the UK.

Thompson joined Microsoft in 1992 as marketing manager. He was promoted to head of image and communications for the EMEA region in 2001, but in December of that year he moved to the Xbox project, and was responsible for launching the brand in Europe last year. He will report to home and entertainment division vice-president for EMEA Eduardo Rosini.

Microsoft’s home and entertainment division covers products such as Windows and Office software, PC games, keyboards, and server products, as well as the Xbox. Microsoft has brought the publishing and marketing operations for Xbox into a single unit.

Michel Cassius, former EMEA director of the Xbox platform, has taken on some of Thompson’s previous marketing responsibilities. He takes the new title of senior director for Xbox platform and marketing.

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