TOKYO, Sept. 24, 2003 — In a move that will significantly bolster its global leadership in the games industry, Microsoft Corp. today announced that Yoshihiro Maruyama has been named the new general manager of the Xbox Division at Microsoft Japan, where he will focus on the Xbox®
video game console and game titles as well as the Xbox Live (TM) service.
Maruyama, a respected video game industry veteran, most recently served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of Squaresoft Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Co. Ltd., and board member of DWonderland Inc. (formerly known as T & E Soft Inc.). At Squaresoft, one of the largest Japanese family game software developers that publishes in the world market, Maruyama developed a strategy that increased Square’s U.S. market development efforts, helping the company become one of the most popular game developers in the United States within only two years. He also was involved in negotiating licensing and business alliances with game and media companies in the United States. As a board member of T & E Soft, Maruyama was responsible for negotiating a licensing agreement with the Walt Disney Co. to develop an online entertainment service featuring popular Disney properties for the Japanese and Asian markets.
Maruyama officially begins as general manager on Wednesday, Oct. 1, and will report to Peter Moore, who joined Microsoft in January 2003 as corporate vice president for Worldwide Retail Sales and Marketing in Japan and Europe for the Home and Entertainment Division.
“Yoshihiro is going to be a tremendous asset to Microsoft and our Japanese initiatives,” Moore said. “He has proven to be a stellar trans-Pacific talent over the years, and he has a great depth of understanding of Japanese and U.S. market issues as well as solid relationships with many industry leaders.”
Par Singh, formerly the interim general manager for Xbox in Japan, will take a new position as director of advanced planning for Japan and Europe for the Home and Entertainment Division. Based in Redmond, Wash., Singh will drive future strategy and business planning for Xbox in these regions and will continue to report to Moore.
In addition, Mike Fischer was named director of marketing for Xbox in Japan last month. In this role, Fischer leads all marketing activities surrounding the Xbox platform and will be reporting to Maruyama. Fischer was most recently vice president of marketing for Sega of America and is fluent in Japanese.
Maruyama began his career at Mitsubishi Corp. and later joined McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant with a strong focus on financial institutions. From there, he went on to become director of the Heisei Research Institute, founded by Kenichi Ohmae; there, he was actively involved in fund-raising and organizing resources to enhance the research and policy-making capability of the institute. Maruyama joined Square in 1995.
Maruyama holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Waseda University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College.
Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in the continents of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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