Microsoft has announced that Phil Harrison, former President of Worldwide  Studios for PlayStation has joined the publisher and all around tech giant’s leadership team. Harrison will be the lead man for the brand in European countries, as well as taking over some  first party studios including Lionhead, Soho  and Rare.

“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.”

The bulk of Harrison’s career has been spent at Sony, but he’s been a bit of a job hopper lately, with stops at several smaller game studios and a stint at Atari.”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.”

Though Harrison’s new duties have a lot in common with those of the recently announced to be leaving Peter Molyneux, Microsoft assures that Harrison’s hiring and Molyneux’s departure are not related, and add that Molyneux’s role has already been filled. “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. Peter’s previous role as Lionhead Studio Manager is being filled by Lionhead COO Mark Webley.”

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Joe Sinicki is Blast's Executive Editor. He has an unhealthy obsession with Back to the Future and wears cheese on his head. Follow him on Twitter @BrewCityJoe

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