Tesco told MCV that the appointment represented its “clear ambitions” in the category this year.
Stanhope is a very well known in the trade, and will be viewed as a special signing for Tesco. He was employed by EUK parent The Woolworths Group for 21 years before the company went into administration in November last year.
Prior to his role at EUK, Stanhope was head of commercial at now defunct entertainment retailer MVC, also owned by The Woolworths Group.
Tesco entertainment director Rob Salter told MCV:
"We're delighted to welcome John to the team and it highlights our clear ambitions for Games in 09. John's arrival strengthens our team while his knowledge and experience will allow these ambitions to be realised.
"John has the respect and trust of the industry and the appointment will enable us to continue to work closely with our partners as we drive the business forward."