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Gamereactor UK

Harrison replaces Molyneux

Ex-Sony exec joins Microsoft.

Phil Harrison has joined Microsoft as the ex-Sony executive replaces the spot just vacated by Peter Molyneux.

Microsoft has just confirmed the move, that'll see Harrison, who left Sony in 2008 after fifteen years with the company, take up the role as head of Microsoft's Game Studios Europe, and overseeing the likes of Lionhead and Rare.

"I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry," said Harrison in a released statement confirming the news. "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."

Microsoft also added to the statement:

"We are honored to have Phil join a team that boasts a wealth of talent from across the industry," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios. "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."

"Phil has played an instrumental role in shaping modern console history through his keen insights into both hardware and software strategy," said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business. "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."

Expectation is that Harrison will officially debut in his new role at E3 - what announcements will he be bringing with him?

Update 3: a Microsoft Spokesperson has emphasised that Harrison's joining the company is unrelated to Molyneux's departure, stating that:

"Phil's role on the IEB leadership team is completely unrelated to Peter's departure. Phil will lead Microsoft Studios European organization, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB's European business. We will continue to rely on our stable of first party developers as we determine if and when the Microsoft Studios Europe Creative Director vacancy should be filled."