There several rumors floating around that the Corporate Vice President of Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison, was in prepping to leave Microsoft. This has been making waves ever since the rumor started in March, around the same time around GDC 2015, however today the rumor was put to rest as Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has indeed confirmed that Phil Harrison has departed the company.
“Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside of Microsoft,” Spencer’s statement reads.
“Phil has been a distinguished leader for our European Xbox team – overseeing production at our award-winning European studios and making a substantial contribution to the Xbox business globally. I want to thank Phil for his creativity and leadership over the past three years. Phil is a great friend of mine and I wish him the very best with his future endeavours.”
Per Gamesindustry.biz, while Phil Harrison is no longer with the company, he had no ill-will towards Microsoft and enjoyed his tenure with the company.
“I have enjoyed the last three years at Microsoft enormously and it has been a privilege to lead and work along side the incredible talent within Microsoft Studios in Europe, including Rare, Lionhead, Lift, Soho and Press Play. I wish them and my many friends throughout the Xbox world every continued success and know that games will continue to prosper across Microsoft under Phil Spencer’s leadership,” he said.
No word on if Microsoft is actively searching for a replacement, or if they will fill the position from inside the company. This also however throws more fuel on the fire, which is the shape of the Xbox brand. Already considered a massive failure in Japan, yet still afloat just about everywhere else the brand has been under fire with the lack of “killer apps” and the sting from it’s original announcement; DRM, and Always online. While Microsoft has made great strides to rebuild the Xbox brand, they still are facing an uphill battle against the PlayStation 4 and the sales are showing that, even to this day.