Microsoft CEO Candidate: “Would Sell Xbox Division” To Help Company

In a rather self-explanatory sentiment by a potential replacement for Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Stephen Elop commented he would dismantle Microsoft’s Xbox division, if he determined their console gaming business “non-critical” to the companies bottom line.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Stephen Elop, who had previously worked under the roof of Microsoft, and possesses years of experience as the CEO of Nokia, mentioned possible strategies in strengthening  Microsoft’s financial stability. Elop believes the company has lost touch with their focus on broadening the focus and accessibility of Windows, and feels the company would better benefit from getting the famous OS and it’s applications onto more portable devices and other technologies, like an openness to Apple’s platform, for example.

Among the ways to increase profit, Elop also mentioned selling off or dismantling what he perceives to be weak points for the Microsoft empire, citing the overly ambitious search engine Bing, and Microsoft’s constant financial hemorrhaging of their Xbox consoles. It’s been no secret the Xbox and it’s subsequent entries, have cost Microsoft billions of dollars in losses, before and after the financial money pit that was the Red Ring Of Death warranty fiasco, and analysts suggest this won’t stop any time soon. Analyst Rick Sherlund said the sale of Bing and Xbox, along with other moves, could lift fiscal 2015 earnings by 40 percent, a massive surplus of funds to Microsoft, which would include axing their console gaming business involving Xbox once and for all.

While Stephen Elop is only a prospective candidate to take over as Chief Executive Officer when Steve Ballmer steps down next year, the list is short. Reportedly, aside from a list on insiders, the other major competition is Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally, who is said to be a strong competitor for the seat of Ballmer.

Elop’s comments may be speculative, and his position as CEO not yet guaranteed, but these recent observations have brought in an obvious question of doubt for the future of the Xbox brand. With analysts chiming in that Elop’s assessment of the Xbox brand as a financial hindrance are indeed true, one has to question what profit margins have spurred Microsoft to continue with their console business thus far. With the Xbox One set to launch in a matter of weeks, possessing a higher price tag and observably weaker hardware than Sony’s PS4, many question if Microsoft made the right choices leading up to launch.

With an initially panned reveal of the system , and a constant uphill battle in winning over consumers interests, the excessively negative press Microsoft has helped to generate in the mishandling of the Xbox One may have only made matters worse. With staunch competition from Sony, sound opposition from the financial community, and vocalized desires from those in power to can the Xbox division altogether, the idea of a strong software library may be irrelevant, against the crushing odds of billions in losses.

(Via Bloomberg)

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