Microsoft founder Bill Gates would support CEO Satya Nadella if he chose to separate the company’s Xbox division, which some of the companies shareholders see as a money-losing handicap.
Speaking to Fox Business News about separating the company’s Bing and the Xbox divisions, Gates said that spinning off its Xbox division from the its overall gaming division isn’t strictly an “obvious” move.
“Well, we’re taking PC gaming — Windows gaming — and Xbox gaming and bringing those a lot closer together,” Gates said.
“The power of the PC graphics chips means you can do great games there. So I’m sure Satya and the team will look at that, and, you know, it’s up to them. But we’re going to have an overall gaming strategy, so it’s not as obvious as you might think.”
Gates did acknowledge that Microsoft has previously spun off products such as Expedia and Slate.
When interviewer Liz Claman asked if Gates would support Nadella if he wanted to spin off the Xbox division, Gates said: “Absolutely.”
Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that two “influential Microsoft shareholders” were pushing the tech giant to “spin off its money-losing consumer products”, including the Bing search engine and the Xbox division, and focus exclusively on its enterprise business.
Microsoft’s board of directors announced Nadella as its new CEO at the beginning of February.