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Xbox VP Kim to retire at end of 2009

Exec to step down after 19 years Microsoft tenure; Spencer promoted to VP role

Microsoft's Shane Kim, Xbox vice president for strategy and business development, is to retire at the end of the year, according to reports.

Ahead of his departure, Phil Spencer, currently Xbox European general manager will be promoted to vice president, and a newly created chief operating officer position will be filled by current chief financial officer Dennis Durkin.

Durkin will take on operating roles, dealing with pricing SKU strategy and business development, including forming new content partnerships.

News of Kim's departure comes from an internal memo published by The Seattle Times.

In the memo, Xbox senior VP Don Mattrick stated the exec's most notable achievements during his 19 year tenure with the company, referring to him as "instrumental" in the evolution of Microsoft's 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 Wars.

"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," the memo continues.

Kim says he has no immediate plans for his next move. He will spend the next four months helping Durkin with the transition ahead of his departure.

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