Official: Ex-Sony exec Phil Harrison joins Microsoft, fills Molyneux’s role

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Phil Harrison It’s just been announced that Phil Harrison has joined the Interactive Entertainment Business leadership team at Microsoft as corporate vice president, “with an emphasis on growing the division’s European business.”

Harrison’s duties as senior IEB leader in Europe will involve directly leading the Microsoft Studios European organization, as well as “influence the broader performance of IEB’s European business through strategic partnerships… by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms, now and in the future.”

Harrison will also oversee UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare Ltd., essentially filling the role of Peter Molyneux who recently exited Microsoft.

Harrison’s expertise in the console gaming space, as well as new business models and technologies such as mobile and the social gaming market, will also be an asset to Microsoft.

Phil Harrison said of his transition to Microsoft:

“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.”

Corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer, also commented on Harrison’s addition to the Microsoft team:

“We are honored 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.”

You’ll know Phil Harrison as former Sony Computer Entertainment executive with 25 years of experience in the videogame industry. After attaining the lofty position of president of Worldwide Studios at SCE, Harrison left the company and joined the board of Infogrames as president of Atari where he championed the publisher’s transition into online gaming.

Harrison then co-founded Venture Partners, LLP, a venture capital firm focused on the web, mobile, social and cloud game sector, where he will continue as Special Advisor.

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