Microsoft has today announced that former Sony man Phil Harrison has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) leadership team as corporate vice president, with an emphasis on growing the division’s European business.
As the senior IEB leader in Europe, Harrison will not only lead the Microsoft Studios European organisation directly, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB’s European business through strategic partnerships and by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms, now and in the future.
Harrison will use his years of experience in studio leadership to grow the development efforts of Xbox in Europe, including overseeing UK-based developers, Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare Ltd. His new role will also see him actively take part in growing Microsoft’s involvement in the mobile and social space.
Phil Harrison stated:
“I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry. I am really impressed with the company’s long-term vision for growing the market for interactive entertainment globally and also with the incredible wealth of talent, technology and resources the company has available to succeed.”
Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios said:
“We are honoured to have Phil join a team that boasts a wealth of talent from across the industry. Phil is one of video gaming’s true visionaries, and his experience overseeing global studios and deep industry relationships make him the ideal person to lead our European efforts. Under his leadership, we look forward to continuing cultivating the best talent and growing our business in the region.”
Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business added:
“Phil has played an instrumental role in shaping modern console history through his keen insights into both hardware and software strategy. His addition to our leadership team will impact our global business in innumerable ways, as he aligns our studio development and growing portfolio of entertainment experiences in Europe to drive our continued growth worldwide.”
Harrison brings with him to Microsoft 25 years of games industry and development experience. He was a long-time leader at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he held various senior executive positions within the company, most recently as president of Worldwide Studios. After leaving Sony, Harrison joined the board of Infogrames, as president of Atari, where he led the company’s transition into online gaming. Most recently, Harrison is co-founder and General Partner of London Venture Partners, LLP, the venture capital firm focused on the web, mobile, social and cloud game sector, where he will continue as Special Advisor.