Four days ago, Microsoft shared a major announcement in organizational changes. While there were three other promotions that occurred, the most notable was Sarah Bond’s promotion from Corporate Vice President of Xbox to the President of Xbox, making Sarah the first Black Woman to be Xbox’s new boss. Okay, Phil, we see you making great decisions out here!
Her Name is Bond…Sarah Bond.
Many of you may not be aware of who Sarah Bond is, so allow us to educate you! For starters, Bond is DEFINITELY a gamer. Sarah Bond was born in Morristown, New Jersey, in October 1978. She is one of seven siblings [archivesit.org.uk]. As a kid, she warmly shared in an interview that the first game she remembers playing is King’s Quest 2 with her father at six or seven years old. Years later in college, Bond was deeply into GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. She and her friends would spend hours playing GoldenEye‘s multiplayer, hunting each other down and just having a great time. A true 007. Possessing her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard and Bachelors in Economics from Yale, Sarah Bond is a force to be reckoned with.
Sarah’s Journey to Microsoft
Bond started out as a consultant at McKinsey & Company – a global consulting firm – with an interest in consumer tech. Bond, having that heavy interest in both consumer science and tech understanding back then that “consumer tech” wasn’t really a thing yet, was confident that this was what she wanted to work in and knew it would eventually take off. Years later, she transitioned to working with T-Mobile, one of the largest consumer tech companies. By the end of her successful tenure there, she was leading their Strategy & Business Development team. Around this time, she desired to try something new, and Microsoft was indeed on her radar. Microsoft offered her an opportunity to work within its gaming team – perfect, right? Consumer Tech AND Gaming. Two things she absolutely loves! Bond has been at Microsoft since 2017, performing as the Head of Ecosystem of Xbox, then Corporate VP and of course now as President.
What does this mean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Gaming Space?
Well obviously, this means DEI in the gaming space is continuing to change for the better. Within Microsoft’s internal memo, a snippet from Gamespot stated:
In her new role as President of Xbox, Bond will oversee a variety of Xbox teams spanning devices, player and creator experience, platform engineering, strategy, business planning, data and analytics, and business development.
Microsoft via Gamespot
Emphasis on player and creator experience. Not only do we have a woman at the helm, but we have a BLACK woman! Someone who most definitely knows what it is like to be underrepresented and overlooked. This is incredibly monumental as you can be sure that Bond will ensure a positive revolution of the player and creator experience at Xbox. Being a leader, and especially a Black Woman, in a predominately, white male industry and wanting to make changes can pose to be quite a challenge. However, not for Sarah. In another interview conducted by Alice and Olivia, Bond had this to say about the tech industry:
You can’t make a piece of technology and have it be effective, and truly global and inclusive, and not have it take into account all the people in the world. That also means that you can’t build a team that can be successful in that environment if it isn’t representative of all of the people of the world…70 percent of people under 25 would rather play a game than watch a movie, listen to music, or engage in any other form of media. What are they playing? Who is creating the things that they’re playing? Because if it has that power, I want to make sure that it is fully representative of the voices and the stories of the people of planet Earth and not just one group or another.
Sarah Bond via Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet
Xbox is absolutely in good hands with this power move, and we cannot wait to see Bond’s implementations in the future. As a Black woman myself, and learning more about Bond in order to write this article, I already feel that much more empowered. We are rooting for you Sarah! Xbox, get ready for a whole lot of Black Girl Magic!