Global Xbox Live boss John Schappert will leave Microsoft on July 14th for Electronic Arts – two years after quitting the Redwood giant for the platform holder.
Schappert will become COO at EA, replacing John Pleasants, who vacates the publisher.
Schappert will be responsible for Worldwide Publishing, the Online Platform Group, EA Interactive, Central Development Services and other divisions of the company.
Schappert, who joined the industry in 1991 as a software engineer at EA, left the publisher in 2007 to become corporate VP of the Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, with responsibility for Microsoft Game Studios and Xbox LIVE. MCV understands he will not be replaced at Microsoft.
"We are thrilled to welcome John Schappert back to EA," said EA Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello. "He has a great track record as a leader and innovator in our industry. His years of experience with EA and in Microsoft’s Xbox business, provide him great insight into recognizing what consumers want."
"After nearly two decades working in or around this company, I’ve got EA in my blood," said John Schappert. "This is a team that is intensely focused on quality and innovation. I’m looking forward to rejoining EA as Chief Operating Officer and helping grow the business on new platforms and in new markets."
Schappert founded Tiburon Entertainment in 1994, the studio behind EA’s Madden NFL, NCAA Football and Tiger Woods games. In 2002, he moved to EA’s Burnaby Studio in British Columbia and was promoted to Senior Vice President and Group General Manager. In this role, he oversaw production of blockbuster franchises such as FIFA Soccer, NHL, and Need For Speed(TM). He was promoted again to Chief Operating Officer for EA’s Worldwide Studios and, subsequently to Executive Vice President with oversight of EA’s Online Platform and Central Development Services Group.
He joined Microsoft in 2007 to create the LIVE Software Division, the online services group for Xbox. His responsibilities were expanded to include oversight for the Microsoft Game Studios and Xbox LIVE.