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Mattrick departure unrelated to Xbox One woes, analysts say

Analysts have weighed in on former Xbox boss Don Mattrick's departure form Microsoft, noting that the company's Interactive Entertainment division is in safe hands.

"Don’s been an industry pioneer and a key catalyst to Microsoft’s success in video games. He’s leaving behind a well-crafted and very skilled team of executives that are perfectly capable of carrying the torch," EEDAR's vice president of Insights wrote in response to our request for comment.

"Microsoft is in capable hands moving forward and I don’t think anyone anticipates Don’s departure to impact the Xbox One’s launch."

The Xbox One DRM scandal probably had nothing to do with Mattrick's departure, he added.

"It can take months from initial engagement to when an executive decides to leave a company to join another. Any near-term events were probably unrelated to his decision, but we’ll truly never know."

Divnich said that Microsoft's reversal of licensing policies as rapidly as it did "speaks a lot to Don’s integrity and work ethic".

"A lessor person may have kept these issues unresolved or passed them along to his successor or subordinates," he said.

Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated had a similar stance.

"Mattrick's departure unrelated to recent Xbox One issues. We note that Mr. Mattrick's departure creates some uncertainly for Microsoft ahead of the Xbox One launch, and IED leadership will now report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer," Sebastian wrote.

"However, we believe most of the major strategic decisions have been made, and the existing Xbox team will manage the day-to-day business and launch.

"Per our E3 conference wrap-up note, we believe that consumer sentiment has improved, but remains mixed on the Xbox One, in part due to the higher price point vs. Sony's PS4. Nonetheless, multiple Xbox One titles look promising, including Ryse, Quantum Break, Titanfall and the next Halo, which should generate healthy core demand."

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