Bonnie Ross

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Bonnie Ross
Other namesBonnie Ross Ziegler
Alma materColorado State University
OccupationCorporate Vice President at Microsoft, Head of 343 Industries
Years active1994–present
Known forVideo game development
Notable work

Bonnie Ross is an American video game developer and Corporate Vice President at Xbox Game Studios. Ross established and is the head of 343 Industries, the subsidiary studio that manages the Halo video game franchise.[1]


She started her college career in engineering and was one of the only women in her engineering major. Ross ended up switching to a fledgling technical writing track in the journalism department during her 1987–88 school year.[2] Ross graduated from Colorado State University in 1989 with a degree in Technical Communication and a concentration in Physics and Computer Science.[3][4]

Professional Experience[edit]

Ross' career in the video game industry began in 1994, starting as a producer working on PC sports games. In addition to the Halo franchise, she has worked on many other game titles including NBA: Inside Drive, Pandora’s Box, Zoo Tycoon, Dungeon Siege, Counter Strike, Gears of War, Jade Empire, Psychonauts, and Mass Effect.[5]

Ross was listed in Fortune magazine's 2014 article "10 powerful women in video games", which noted that she was "responsible for defining the vision and leading the Halo franchise, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide" and had "helped grow the Halo franchise beyond gaming" with books, video series and TV series.[1]

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences named Bonnie Ross as their 2019 Inductee to their Hall of Fame Inductee at the DICE Awards held in February 2019. She was the second female inductee in this award since the establishment.[6]

Speaking Engagements[edit]

In October 2014, Ross appeared as a speaker at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, held in Phoenix, Arizona, presenting on "Technology and How It Is Evolving Storytelling in Our Entertainment Experiences".[7] She has also made appearances as a speaker at GeekWire 2013[8] and Microsoft's ThinkNext 2015 in Israel.[9]

Ross was also the lead speaker for Microsoft's presentation at the 2015 "E3" Electronic Entertainment Expo. Microsoft's Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, was reported in The Huffington Post as saying, "We opened the show with Bonnie. She's got such authenticity as someone who has been with Xbox a long time, running our biggest franchise and being a spokesperson for the platform, the industry and 'Halo.'"[10]

Xbox Live Community[edit]

Ross has taken a strong stance against the use of gendered insults on Xbox Live servers, claiming that lifetime bans would be issued to those making discriminatory comments. She has argued that game developers have a "personal responsibility" to avoid gendered stereotyping in their games.[11][12]

Women In Tech[edit]

Bonnie Ross is seen as a role model when it comes to women in gaming. She strives to increase the diversity within the gaming industry and lessen the male to female gap. She has often reinforced her position in hiring more female game developers so more women can find role models within the industry. Ross's influence has already been seen within the Halo franchise with the increase of female protagonists.[13] Also through speaking in many events involving women in science, technology, engineering, and math she has been inspiring women to join the game development field.[14]


  1. ^ a b "10 powerful women in video games". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  2. ^ Dodge, Jeff. "Halo effect: Alumna wants more women in video game industry". Retrieved 30 Jan 2017.
  3. ^ Brustein, Joshua. "Can the Woman Behind Halo 5 Save the Xbox?". Retrieved 23 Oct 2015.
  4. ^ Dodge, Jeff. "Bloomberg spotlights CSU alum, head of Halo gaming studio". Retrieved 30 Nov 2015.
  5. ^ "Grace Hopper : Bonnie Ross". Anita Borg Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  6. ^ "Halo Boss Bonnie Ross Joins the AIAS Hall of Fame - DICE Awards 2019". IGN. February 14, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Program" (PDF). Anita Borg Institute. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Halo chief Bonnie Ross: Free-to-play is a possibility for 343 Industries - GeekWire". Geekwire. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  9. ^ "Microsoft R&D Israel". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2015-06-28. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  10. ^ Lang, Derrik J. "Women Finally Play Larger Role At Iconic E3 Gaming Convention". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  11. ^ Eördögh, Fruzsina (1 November 2012). "The Video Game Industry Is Finally Taking a Stand Against Sexist Jerks". Slate. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  12. ^ Weber, Rachel (31 October 2012). "343 Industries: We have a personal responsibility for how our games come across". Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  13. ^ Dodge, Jeff, Halo effect: Alumna wants more women in video game industry, retrieved 30 Jan 2017.
  14. ^ retrieved 30 Jan 2017.

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