Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg expresses his true feelings for Phil Spencer

Vu Anh Nguyen

Xbox head Phil Spencer is often credited with turning around Microsoft’s Xbox business after a disastrous PR misstep, whose effect can still be felt in the console’s trailing behind its biggest competitor till this day. While Spencer is often seen on the big stage smiling and being excited, given the street cred of Microsoft’s old bosses, one cannot help but wonder: just how different is he back at work? Turns out, not much, as Xbox Games Marketing head Aaron Greenberg, has revealed to IGN in a new interview.

While the interview is not long (and rather entertaining), to save you the trouble, I have taken out important information from the video and make a list out of it. Without further ado, here is the real Phil Spencer, according to Aaron Greenberg:

He’s a Super Nice Guy

If what Greenberg says is true, Spencer might just be the nicest guy I know to work in the video games industry. He “never curses”, or at least, has never been heard to have cursed at work. Spencer’s so nice, in fact, that he refused to wear a button with the words “Ship happens”, made as a joke by the Xbox engineering team to celebrate the launch (heh, get it? “Ship” and, uh, you know what it is.) As Greenberg put it, Spencer has a high standard, which has garnered him respect from his colleagues. And his competitors too, it seems, given how he reportedly gets along with everyone from Sony to Nintendo

He’s very driven

Of course, Spencer’s high standard does not stop at verbal communication, it also shows in his work and vision. Characteristic of great leaders in any industry, the Xbox chief is always hunger to do more, achieve more, and is unyielding when it comes to doing business.

He has a great sense of humor

While no tales about the jokes Spencer would tell were shared, the point was driven home when Greenberg removed his Xbox sweatshirt to reveal the never-before-seen, fan-made T-shirt featuring a young Phil Spencer in a parody of “The Godfather”. Greenberg also some heartwarming joke from that shows just how comfortable colleagues are around Spencer.
Behold, "The Xboss."
Behold, “The Xboss.”

“There is only one Phil”

The above quote from Greenberg sums it up nicely: Phil Spencer is one and the same on and off-stage: cheerful, enthusiastic, and ambitious, a figure people can trust and “blindly follow into the future”.

“How many people have you worked for that people love so much they’ve actually made a T-shirt out of ’em?”

– Aaron Greenberg, Head of Xbox Games Marketing

Spencer is one of the champions of a new generation of Microsoft leaders with a different mindset and very different way of doing things, and the positive effect has been clearer by the day. “We love Phil”, Greenberg said, and I have to agree. It will be exciting to see how Spencer and his team will continue to develop the Xbox brand in the future.