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Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that Phil Harrison, video games luminary and former Sony executive, has joined the interactive entertainment business (IEB) leadership team as corporate vice president with an emphasis on growing the division’s European business. Microsoft specifically emphasized Mr. Harrison’s experience in the new types of video game businesses, including browser and mobile games.

“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,” said Mr. Harrison.

As the senior IEB leader in Europe, Mr. Harrison will not only lead the Microsoft Studios European organization 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.

In addition to the wealth of experience Phil Harrison has in the console gaming space, he has immersed himself in new business models and technologies, particularly in the mobile and social space and will bring that market perspective to bear in the new role. He will also tap his deep experience in studio leadership to grow Xbox’s development efforts in Europe, including overseeing UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare.

 “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,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios.

Tags: Microsoft, Sony, Xbox

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