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Microsoft taps Krikorian to help run its Xbox business

By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it hired technology entrepreneur Blake Krikorian to help run its Interactive Entertainment Business as the world's largest software company plans bigger things for its Xbox gaming console.

Krikorian will be corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business, reporting to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for the division, Microsoft added.

The appointment follows Microsoft's recent acquisition of Krikorian's company, id8 Group R2 Studios, which had developed an application that allows users to control home heating and lighting systems from smartphones.

Microsoft is trying to transform Xbox from a gaming device into a broader service that controls most aspects of home entertainment, including music, movies, TV and sports.

"We look forward to his contribution to our team as Xbox continues to evolve and transform the games and entertainment landscape," Whitten said in a statement.

Krikorian's Sling Media - which was sold to EchoStar Communications in 2007 - made the Slingbox device for watching TV over the Internet.

Krikorian resigned from Amazon.com Inc's board in late December after about a year and a half as a director at the company, the Internet's largest retailer.

(Reporting By Alistair Barr; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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