Former Sony Boss Phil Harrison Heads to Microsoft

Phil Harrison Sony Microsoft

Though we don't question the steadfast devotion of their fake executives, apparently not everyone from the upper echelons of Sony's management bleeds the PlayStation blue.

Microsoft has announced that former longtime Sony head - and, more recently, Atari employee - Phil Harrison would be suiting up for team Xbox as the head of their European Interactive Entertainment Business. The seat was left empty last week when its previous occupier, Peter Molyneux, announced that he was leaving Microsoft's Lionhead Studios for the newfangled confines of 22 Cans.

Harrison, who joined Sony as an executive in 1992, worked his way up to President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios - the product development arm of the company. He was pivotal in promoting the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3, and became famous during his later years with Sony for dropping big announcements (LittleBigPlanet and PlayStation Home, to name a few) during keynote speeches.

After tendering his resignation in 2008, Harrison bounced between Atari and London Venture Partners - an investment firm that targets up-and-coming technology companies. His new job with Microsoft's European branch will have him overseeing developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare in the United Kingdom.

It's a Brett Favre-to-Minnesota-like scenario that Harrison says he's happy to be a part of:

"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."

While you might think that 15 years in such esteemed positions would be more than enough to entrench one's loyalties, it seems to be a rational, strictly-business decision in the mind of Harrison (excluding the possibility that he was abducted by Major Nelson for secrets, and the two settled on an amicable employment position after the electroshock machine broke down).

The console war will be heating up again when Microsoft and Sony eventually announce the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 respectively, and Harrison's knowledge of the rival manufacturer could prove a vital asset. With all due respect to the aforementioned Major Nelson, he's one of the only mainstream personalities aligned directly with the Xbox brand. And seeing as though Sony has a multitude of recognizable PlayStation figures - real and fictional - like Kevin Butler, Jack Tretton, and Kaz Hirai, it's quite possible that Microsoft will try to groom Harrison for a similar public role once again.


Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

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