Sony Computer Entertainment has merged its Japan and Asia divisions, creating a new management unit – Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia – under SVP Hiroshi Kawano. The restructuring is part of Sony’s continued efforts to streamline its business and pare back any unnecessary expense and duplication; current SCE Asia president Hiroyuki Oda will now be deputy president of the unified Japan-Asia division, based out of the Asia headquarters.
That won’t be the only personnel change, with a shuffle of the SVPs and a number of combined positions handling business administration, development support, quality and product management, and credit management across both regions. However, other divisions will retain their specific remits: marketing, sales, customer relations and online services teams will continue to focus on either Asia or Japan.
As well as the staff shake-up, there will be a number of structural and unit changes as part of the merge. That includes a new product management unit and a new loan management unit, and there will be an Asian Network Planning Department to hunt down new business in the region.
It’s set to be an interesting few years for Sony, as the PlayStation 4 is readied for its release. The next-generation console faces not only the challenge of Microsoft’s new Xbox, but the growing relevance of casual and mobile gaming, not to mention affordable start-up challenges like OUYA snapping at its heels.
Any turnaround can’t come soon enough. Sony announced a net loss of $115m in the last financial quarter, struck particularly with poor sales of the PSP and PS Vita; the company slashed Vita pricing in an attempt to boost demand. Meanwhile, Sony Chairman Howard Stringer will retire this summer.