In a bit of a surprise announcement this afternoon, Sony has made clear that Jack Tretton will be stepping down from his role as President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. As of March 31st, 2014, SCEA will have a new President and CEO, as the company and Tretton have made a "mutual agreement" to "not renew their contractual relationship."
Meanwhile Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, Shawn Layden, will become CEO and President of SCEA starting on April 1st, 2014. And no, we have no reason to believe this is all one big April Fool’s joke. Tretton has worked with Sony Computer Entertainment America for 19 years, having joined the crew back in 1995.
"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career. Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career.
I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation." - Jack Tretton
Meanwhile Layden was one of the founding members of SNEI (Sony Network Entertainment International) after joining the company from Sony Computer Entertainment. He’s been with PlayStation, that is to say, for 15 years, having also worked with Sony Computer Entertainment for eight years with SCE Worldwide Studios in London. There he was director of international software development.
"As one of the founding members of the executive team, Tretton has worked vigorously to make all PlayStation® platforms best sellers in North America. Tretton has played a pivotal role in launching groundbreaking platforms in North America, including PS One®, PlayStation®2, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, PlayStation®Network, and the recently announced PlayStation®4.
During his tenure, Tretton has also been responsible for achieving several industry milestones, including surpassing 50 million units of the PlayStation®2 in North America." - Sony
Now with Jack Tretton out from the gaming circuit and Steve Ballmer out from the gadgets and software market, who will be our main entertainment when we go to tech and gaming events? It’s time for a new outspoken voice to emerge, that’s for certain.