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Microsoft names new entertainment marketing chief

Jeff Bell to add marketing firepower to Microsoft interactive entertainment, including Games for Windows and Xbox.

Microsoft on Tuesday named Jeff Bell as global marketing chief for its Interactive Entertainment Business group, giving the software maker more firepower to promote its Xbox and Games for Windows products.

Bell, vice president of product strategy for DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, will assume his new position June 12. While at Chrysler, Bell was noted for pushing the automaker into video games and online marketing.

"Jeff brings a unique mix of consumer experience and innovation to the interactive entertainment business," Peter Moore, vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business and former head of Xbox marketing, said in a statement. "His track record in driving automotive video game strategies and his influence on urban marketing plans are indicators of his expertise and leadership."

Chrysler attracted more than 3 million registered users to the 40 online games it produced for use as marketing tools.

Microsoft is looking for similar success with its own games. Last December, the software giant split its entertainment and devices division into four distinct business groups that now include the Interactive Entertainment Business unit.

That split was part of a major reorganization Microsoft underwent in September, when the entire company was divided into three divisions. The reorganization was designed to streamline Microsoft's decision-making and accelerate development of its products.

In January, Moore noted the new Xbox 360 console was, overall, selling as planned, even though North America retailers had difficulty keeping inventory in stock and consumers in Japan were slow to snap up the new console.