According to a news report in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has hired ex-Electronic Arts executive Don Mattrick in an “advisory role” to work on strategy for the company’s PC and Xbox games divisions.
Mattrick was previously considered as heir apparent to current Electronic Arts CEO Larry Probst, but left the company in 2005 after expressing disdain for the idea of running a public company. Mattrick was one of the co-founders of Distinctive Software (DSI), the foundation of what is now EA Canada. His final role at the company, before leaving, was as worldwide president of studios.
Although he has experience of handling high profile franchises including The Sims, Need for Speed and SSX, Mattrick’s exact role at Microsoft is unclear. His role is not full-time, and he will be based in Vancouver rather than Microsoft’s Redmond offices.
The Wall Street Journal article quotes Microsoft’s Peter Moore as saying that Mattrick will assist with “a broad array of tasks including helping [Microsoft’s] own game studios", indicating that Mattrick's long development and production history are likely to be utilized to increase efficiencies.