Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, has announced his intention to step down from his leadership role, and to leave Sony, at the expiry of his current contract at the end of March 2014.
In a blog post on the PlayStation site, Tretton said that his departure was “by mutual agreement” with Sony, and confessed to mixed feelings – understandably, after nearly two decades at SCEA, joining the nascent division first as Director of Sales – a period that spanned the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PS3 and the successful launch of the PS4 last year. In a statement to the press released by Sony, Tretton added:
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.
Sony has wasted no time in announcing Tretton’s successor: Sony Network Entertainment International EVP and COO Shawn Layden. Responsible for delivering digital entertainment through the Sony Entertainment Network, SNEI is not far distant from video games, and Layden was previously a President at Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. He also spent eight years managing software development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and
Tretton’s departure is something of a surprise – the launch of the PlayStation 4 has exceeded expectations, and in particular the PS4 has consistently led Microsoft's competing Xbox One in the sales charts since their launch last November. He is certainly going out on a high, having masterminded and presided over the triumphant launch of the new console at E3, and seen global sales of the console pass 6 million earlier this week. Sony has declined to comment further at this time, but there is no indication that Tretton’s departure – after the launch of the heavily promoted Infamous: Second Son - will herald a change of strategy.
Sony’s NYSE-listed stock closed up 2.17% at $17.86.