Known for his keynotes and presentations during E3 and GDC when the Sony PlayStation 3 was launched, Phil Harrison has now formally joined Microsoft as as its "Interactive Entertainment Business leader" in Europe.
Harrison worked in the past for Infogrames, Atari, Gaikai and most of all, Sony where he was appointed as Executive Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
His focus will be to grow the Microsoft Entertainment business in Europe by developing partnerships with other companies and also adding a cultural flavour to upcoming titles and watch over Microsoft-owned Lionhead and Rare.
Gamesindustry also reported a Microsoft spokesperson saying that there's no connection between Phil's arrival and the departure of the former Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux.
Microsoft's next generation gaming console, which is rumoured to be codenamed Durango, is said to forego the optical disk drive completely and rely instead on downloads only.
Harrison's appointment occurs at a crucial time for Microsoft just as the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of the European launch of the Xbox and as newcomers such as Google, Facebook or Apple pose new challenges to existing players.