At Apple, Schaaff held various positions including Vice President of Interactive Media. His many contributions at the Mac and iPod maker included managing the development and maintenance of Apple's QuickTime platform.
Prior to working at Apple, Schaaff worked on the development of the Synclavier music synthesizer at New England Digital. At Sony, his goal will be to unify previously dispersed functions into a single organization that provides important platform support for all of the company.
Schaaff will report to Keiji Kimura, Executive Vice President and Officer in Charge of Technology Strategy.
"Having a consistent and scaleable software platform for our devices and services is important in today's world," said Kimura.
"Software is obviously a critical element in creating champion Sony products, and in increasing the value of Sony devices and services by ensuring interoperability," said Sony chairman and cheif executive Sir Howard Stringer. "Tim's expertise is a vital addition to the Sony team, and he will be responsible for developing and deploying a unified, intuitive Sony 'look and feel' to user interfaces and functionality across our entire product line."
Schaaff will be based in San Jose and will have global responsibility for a newly created team that will include technologists and business planners who will work with Sony's business units, design centers, product planning and engineering, as well as corporate centers for standards, intellectual property, licensing and business development.