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John Schappert leaves Microsoft, returns to EA

Electronic Arts Inc. announced it has recruited former EA executive John Schappert back from Microsoft Corp., where he was corporate vice president of interactive entertainment in the company’s Xbox business. Schappert will resume his old title as EA’s chief operating officer.

John Schappert a corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services at Microsoft since 2007 and, before that, founder of Madden-dev Tiburon at EA – is returning to EA to replace John Pleasants as COO. Pleasants is headed to social gaming company Playdom, a San Francisco developer of casual games played on social networks such as MySpace. Schappert was brought on as COO and Pleasants – taking the hint, we’d say – “elected to pursue another opportunity,” EA said.

Schappert may be familiar to many of you as the man delivering many of Microsoft’s Xbox keynotes of late, including the most recent keynote at E3 this month. After less than two years on the job at Xbox, Schappert will return to EA July 14, 2009. “After nearly two decades working in or around this company, I’ve got EA in my blood,” he said. “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.”

EA bossman John Riccitiello said, “We are thrilled to welcome John Schappert back to EA. 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.”

Microsoft is looking to break with tradition (or the revolving door between the two companies) and leave Schappert’s position unfilled, telling IndustryGamers, “Marc Whitten and Phil Spencer will lead their respective businesses, LIVE Services and Microsoft Game Studios, reporting directly to Don Mattrick. Microsoft has complete confidence in the leadership of Marc and Phil and that their teams will remain focused and on track as we ramp up for this holiday.”

Source – John Schappert Returns to EA as Chief Operating Officer
Source – Playdom Names John Pleasants CEO

[Via Joystiq]