Microsoft Poaches Key EA Executive - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Poaches Key EA Executive

John Schappert will head up key parts of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, which includes Xbox LIVE.

It didn't take Microsoft's Don Mattrick long to poach one of his old colleagues from video game publisher Electronic Arts.

In the latest executive swap between the two companies, Microsoft said Thursday that it has tapped EA executive vice president John Schappert to head up key parts of its Interactive Entertainment Business.

The unit is run by Mattrick, a former president at EA that Microsoft in July appointed head of IEB. Within IEB, Schappert will assume the newly created position of corporate VP for LIVE software and services.

In that role, Schappert will oversee Microsoft's Xbox LIVE business -- which boasts 7 million members across 25 countries. He will also have responsibility for Games for Windows -- LIVE, XNA and Microsoft casual games.

Schappert has held a number of senior posts at EA. Most recently, he was executive VP for operations and technology. He was also chief operating officer for worldwide studios.

Executives at Microsoft and EA are wearing a path between the two companies' offices. Last month, Microsoft's chief of Xbox operations, Peter Moore, left Microsoft to head up Electronic Arts' EA Sports division.

A Canadian citizen, Mattrick is based in Vancouver. His appointed came shortly after Microsoft disclosed plans to open a development center in the West Coast city.

The news prompted speculation that the company plans to move Xbox development to the city.

To date, Microsoft has said only that the Vancouver facility will be used for a broad range of development work and that its primary purpose is to provide a base for non-American Microsoft employees unable to obtain U.S. work permits.

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