Blake Krikorian, the former CEO of Slingbox maker Sling Media, has joined Microsoft as a corporate vice president in the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business, home of the Xbox, following Microsoft’s acquisition of his latest startup.
Microsoft announced Krikorian’s appointment this morning and confirmed the acquisition of his home-automation technology startup, id8 R2 Studios. The news, which had been rumored but not officially announced, reflects the continued evolution of the Xbox to become a broader device for entertainment in the home, not just for video games.
He will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for the group, who praised Krikorian’s track record of creating “simple, elegant products that have transformed the way people engage with and consume content.”
“I am excited to join Microsoft and be a part of the Xbox team. As a 10-year Xbox LIVE subscriber, I have seen firsthand how Xbox has delighted us by reinventing how consumers experience games and entertainment,” Krikorian said in a press release announcing the news. “I look forward to helping the team define the future of entertainment and contribute to the next decade of continued innovation.”
Krikorian’s startup kept a low profile, but as GeekWire reported last week, R2 Studios acquired more than two dozen patents and patent applications last year covering a wide range of automation technologies in the home. One of them is a broad patent for using a central server in conjunction with a portable remote as a master control for everything in the home — including televisions, computers, stereos, lights, ovens, alarm clocks and more.
Krikorian had been serving as an Amazon.com board member but resigned from that post after news of the acquisition of his startup surfaced.