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Sarah Bond: First female Xbox president revolutionizing the gaming industry

Breaking barriers: Bond's trailblazing journey in Xbox leadership

by Motoni Olodun
Sarah Bond

Sarah Bond is an influential figure in the gaming industry, presently serving as the president of Xbox at Microsoft. Her journey to the top echelons of the gaming world is paved with a series of strategic and impactful roles, contributing significantly to the brand’s staggering $16 billion in annual revenue. Born in 1978 in Morristown, New Jersey, Bond is an Economics graduate from Yale University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lived in the United Kingdom for 10 years for education before moving back to the United States. 

Career Journey

Bond started her career as an associate partner at McKinsey & Company. She later worked for T-Mobile as chief of staff to then CEO John Legere, and subsequently became a senior vice president, leading the corporate strategy and development team and spearheading key initiatives that propelled T-Mobile’s growth. Her talent for strategic planning and business development caught the attention of Microsoft, who recruited her in 2016.

In 2017, she joined Microsoft. Initially, she served as a corporate vice president overseeing gaming business development and partnerships at Xbox. Later, she took on the role of corporate vice president of game creator experience and ecosystem. Here, she played a crucial role in the success of Xbox Game Pass, a groundbreaking subscription service that revolutionized the way people access and experience games. Game Pass’s immense popularity, with more than 25 million subscribers, is a testament to Bond’s vision and strategic leadership. On Oct. 26, 2023, Bond was promoted to president of Xbox, reporting directly to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. This made her the first woman to hold this prominent position in Xbox’s 22-year existence.

Beyond Xbox: A Diversified Portfolio

Beyond her role at Xbox, Bond serves on the board of directors of several prestigious organizations, including Zuora, Chegg, and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). These engagements further demonstrate her extensive knowledge and influence within the business and technology sectors.

Net Worth and Sources of Income

Bond’s income primarily comes from her role at Microsoft, where she oversees the entire brand’s operations as a platform and ecosystem, including hardware and devices, player and creator experiences, platform engineering, strategy, business planning, data and analytics, and business development. Her net worth is not publicly disclosed but she is estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

In addition to her salary from Microsoft, Bond also serves on the boards of Zuora and Chegg, which likely contribute to her income. In 2022, she made $210,651 in total compensation as an Independent Director at Zuora Inc.

Impact on the Gaming Industry

Bond’s leadership at Xbox has had a significant impact on the gaming industry. Her strategic approach and ability to connect with gamers have made her an ideal candidate for her position. Her contributions to the acquisition of Activision Blizzard were critical in closing the deal and solidifying her position as a major player in the gaming industry.

Under her leadership, Xbox is on track to chart an exciting future course that is more inclusive and representative of the broad global gaming community. Her presidency represents not only a milestone moment in Xbox history but also a big step forward for all those who respect diversity and equity in the gaming industry.

In conclusion, Bond’s path to becoming the first female president of Xbox is not just a watershed moment in the gaming industry, but also an important milestone for the global community. Her involvement in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as well as her identification as a Blerd, demonstrates the possibility of breaking down barriers and reaching excellence in the gaming sector.

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