clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Microsoft Promotes Lionhead Boss Needham to New Role in Redmond

Needham partly replaces Phil Harrison, who stepped aside earlier this year.

John Needham, until recently the studio head at Microsoft-owned Lionhead Studios in the U.K., has relocated to Redmond to partly fill the shoes of recently departed Xbox exec Phil Harrison.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the move, saying Needham would work under CVP Kudo Tsunoda to develop games for both Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens, not including the Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Minecraft franchises. Those teams will report to Tsunoda’s superior, the overall Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

Needham joined Lionhead in 2013 after stints as an exec at Sony Online Entertainment and CEO at both Cryptic Studios and Gazillion Entertainment. Last year, after the departure of Marc Whitten, then-studios VP Spencer was appointed to run Microsoft’s Xbox and other gaming efforts.

Microsoft’s current gaming challenges include trying to recover from an early loss to Sony in the latest console war, expanding its gaming presence on the PC and figuring out how to make games for Redmond’s upcoming augmented reality glasses, HoloLens.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.