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Xbox Europe boss resigns

Chris Lewis departing company following eight years of Xbox dominance in the UK

Chris Lewis, the senior Microsoft executive who leads the firm's European console business, has revealed plans to retire from the company.

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The Xbox executive, who overseas publishing operations across Europe, is departing to focus on "other business interests", according to MCV.

He will resign from the company in a matter of weeks while Microsoft finds a replacement.

Lewis joined Microsoft in 1989 and was the head of Xbox in the UK when the first console launched in 2002.

Under his stewardship the Xbox 360 business thrived in the UK. The console became the best-selling system of the generation across Britain - overtaking the Wii in 2013 and outstripping the PS3 by roughly a third.

Xbox 360 also routinely represented the biggest share of sales for all the major multiplatform console games in the UK.

The situation is now more challenging for Microsoft. The PS4 is leading in terms of hardware sales across the UK and Europe, whilst Sony's new console now appears to be representing the majority of software sales too (nearly two-thirds of Tomb Raider Definitive Edition were purchased on PS4 in the UK).

Phil Harrison, a key Microsoft executive based in the UK, still manages the studios and development side of the business across Europe.

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Chris Lewis (centre) was head of Xbox in the UK during the original Xbox launch

"Since joining Microsoft as one of the first UK employees in 1989, Chris has made significant contributions across the partner, enterprise and retail businesses," said Xbox head Yusuf Mehdi.

"He has been a distinguished leader for our Xbox team in Europe - overseeing the launch of the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Kinect and most recently Xbox One, and growing the business significantly across the region.

"Following that success, Chris has now chosen to retire from Microsoft and focus on his other business and personal interests. We wish Chris nothing but the best, and we thank him for everything he's contributed to Xbox and Microsoft as a whole over the past 25 years."

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