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Yusuf Mehdi tapped to head up Xbox marketing

Mehdi, who was the longest-tenured member of Microsoft's Online Services Division, has been named the new head of marketing for the Xbox and video games business unit.

Yusuf Mehdi, the new head of Xbox marketing at Microsoft. Microsoft

Microsoft has named Yusuf Mehdi as head of marketing for its Xbox and video games business.

According to GeekWire, Microsoft is shifting Mehdi, who it said had the longest tenure in the company's online services division, to the Xbox unit. There, he will report to president of interactive entertainment business Don Mattrick.

During his time in Microsoft's Online Services Division, Mehdi led the marketing rollout for Bing and was also the leader of an 1,800-person engineering team that developed and launched the company's foray into search and online advertising. And some had seen him as the leading internal candidate to succeed former Microsoft global head of marketing Mich Mathews.

Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment.

GeekWire published what it said is an internal Microsoft document announcing Medhi's move to the Xbox business unit.

"Yusuf and I have been discussing his career plan for several months," wrote president of Microsoft's online services division Qi Lu in the memo. "The time is right for Yusuf to take on a new challenge for Microsoft. With more than ten years of service in Microsoft's online services business, he has been a trusted adviser, a great leader of people, and has helped get us to where we are today in [the online services division]....Yusuf has been involved with leading Microsoft Online Services businesses longer than anyone else...and has been a pivotal leader at critical milestones of our division's journey from the early days of MSN, to the original MSN and Live Search products, to the launch of Bing and the consummation of key strategic deals for OSN and Microsoft, including Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Nokia."

For Mehdi, joining the Xbox group means heading up one of Microsoft's most successful divisions. Over the past year-plus, the company's video game console has outsold competitors like Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii almost every single month. It has also boosted its fortunes with the release of the Kinect motion control system.