MS creates new position for former EA exec

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MS creates new position for former EA exec
Microsoft announced today that it has hired John Schappert, former executive vice president of Electronic Arts, as the corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services, a newly created position. In this new role, Schappert will oversee Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows LIVE, XNA, and Microsoft Casual Games. Schappert will report directly to the new senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, Entertainment and Devices Division, Don Mattrick (also formerly of EA). Mattrick is reportedly "thrilled" to have Schappert aboard, and notes that Schappert will help Microsoft "focus on expanding and enriching our market leadership with LIVE in areas like online services while broadening our audience."

What exactly Schappert's role entails, we're not quite sure, but we imagine we'll be hearing more from him soon. In the meantime, we have to wonder how many more executives Microsoft will be plucking from the ranks of Electronic Arts.

"REDMOND, Wash. - Aug. 8, 2007 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that John Schappert, most recently executive vice president at Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), will be joining the Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) in a newly created position as corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services.

Schappert's latest role in central development services at EA included oversight of central technology, operations, EA online and the office of the chief creative officer. Previously, Schappert held several senior-level positions at EA including chief operating officer of worldwide studios, group general manager, and general manager of EA Canada and EA Tiburon. He will be joining Microsoft as a corporate vice president running the LIVE, software and services group. Schappert will report to Don Mattrick, the newly named senior vice president of IEB, which includes the Xbox 360™ and Games for Windows® businesses.

"I am thrilled to have John join the deep bench of proven talent already on Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business," Mattrick said. "John's expertise will help us focus on expanding and enriching our market leadership with LIVE in areas like online services while broadening our audience. John will also build on the great work already happening in the developer community working with Chris Satchell and the XNA organization."

Schappert will oversee Xbox LIVE®, a business that continues to thrive with more than 7 million members across 25 countries. The online entertainment network offers instant messaging, voice, video and text chat, Xbox LIVE Arcade and hundreds of multiplayer games, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and TV shows and movies in the United States. Schappert will also oversee Games for Windows – LIVE, XNA™ and Microsoft® Casual Games, which offers more than 400 games via MSN® Games, Windows LIVE™ Messenger, Windows games and Xbox LIVE Arcade.

"With these changes, we are dedicated to providing our customers, our partners and our employees with value, quality and high-performing teams," Mattrick said.

Schappert founded Florida-based Tiburon Entertainment in 1994, which was acquired by EA four years later. In his gaming career, Schappert has overseen the creation of hundreds of games for EA, including the best-selling "Madden NFL" football franchise on which he worked originally as a programmer."
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