Microsoft has announced that 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.
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.
Using his experience in studio leadership, Microsoft hopes Harrison will grow the development efforts of Xbox in Europe, including overseeing UK-based developers, Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare Ltd.
"I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry," said Harrison. "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, commented: "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."
Harrison brings 25 years of game industry experience to his new role, including time serving as president of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment.
More recently, Harrison co-founded 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.