Microsoft Hires Founder of Voodoo Boutique PC Maker

Rahul Sood Joins Microsoft Xbox Business Unit

by Anton Shilov
12/22/2010 | 09:12 AM

Rahul Sood, the founder of Voodoo PC boutique maker of personal computers and a former vice president at HP, said on Wednesday that he had joined Microsoft Corp.'s interactive entertainment business unit, which develops and support Xbox game console, accessories and Kinect motion sensor.


"I am happy to announce that I will be joining Microsoft as the [general manager] for system experience in the interactive entertainment business. I will be working on some really... really... really cool stuff come January 2011," said Mr. Sood. in his blog post.

It is completely unclear what a strong and long-time supporter of personal computer gaming will do at Microsoft's Xbox business unit, but it may be a strategic appointment that will allow Mr. Sood to influence different things about the Xbox game console and supporting accessories. Perhaps, Microsoft is hiring the talent around the industry to help develop the next-generation Xbox console as well as various new types of experiences. Since the former head of Voodoo PC is primarily known for developing reliable high-performance gaming systems with great visual aesthetics, he is a natural candidate to lead the building of the next Xbox, but at this point this remains unconfirmed.

"I cannot wait to be directly involved in a product pipeline again. Nothing motivates me more than when I’m empowered to make big bets and help to create awesome products just as we did throughout most of my career," said Rahul Sood last month when he announced his resignation from Hewlett-Packard.

Mr. Sood founded Voodoo PC back in 1991 with the aim to build custom high-performance personal computers. Eventually, the company started to manufacture heavily-tweaked machines for gaming. Many of such systems utilized exotic components, cooling systems and featured eye-catching designs. The company, which employed more than 40 people then, was acquired by HP in 2006 after the latter's arch-rival Dell took over another boutique PC maker called Alienware. While independent, Voodoo PC used to offer a broad family of various desktops as well as several laptops. But after the acquisition by HP the only Voodoo-branded systems released were Omen high-end gaming desktop as well as Envy luxurious notebook. While initially Rahul Sood believed that HP would offer significant opportunities to leverage the Voodoo technologies, eventually he admitted that the "things got a little complicated" and implied that he no longer could influence the development of advanced gaming products at HP.