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After joining the Xbox team in 2012 as the European vice president, Phil Harrison is now leaving Microsoft. New reports indicate that the former Xbox executive has decided to pursue interests outside of Microsoft.
Game Informer picked up the news from MCV UK, where they captured a quote from the current head of the Xbox division:
Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside of Microsoft.
Before joining Microsoft, Phil Harrison worked as a corporate executive and a representative director for Sony Computer Entertainment, helping the PlayStation brand grow between 1992 and 2008.
Harrison's time at Microsoft wasn't long and was mostly dedicated to recovering from the console's marketing fumbles throughout 2014.
Things originally spiraled out of control back in early 2013 when Adam Orth, a former creative director at Microsoft, went off on a Twitter rant against gamers who were extremely displeased with some of the Xbox One's features. Adam Orth was quickly let go from the company after telling gamers to “Deal with it” in regards to the Xbox One's DRM setup.
Things further escalated during the official reveal of the Xbox One when it was discovered that there were plans for used game fees on Xbox One titles, which caused a furious backlash by gamers and prompted them to pre-order the PS4 in droves. Wii U sales even grew.
Following the mess that was the Xbox One's announcement, Don Mattrick quickly left to become the CEO of Zynga, which didn't last very long given his recent departure from the company. A few other executives also left the Xbox division, but Phil Spencer and Phil Harrison both stuck it out past the console's launch and into its first full year on the market.
During 2014, most of the Xbox executives, apart from Phil Spencer, kept silent about the console, focusing more on the line-up of games and the console's features. After bringing home two NPD victories in a row during the last half of 2014, things began looking up for the Xbox One.
I won't say that things are peachy-keen for Microsoft and the Xbox division, but they're definitely doing better now than they were during 2013 and early 2014, at least from a mind-share perspective.
Details on where Phil Harrison is heading or what his plans are at this point haven't been publicly discussed.