In its lifetime, the PlayStation One sold just over 102 million units, while the PlayStation 2 sold 155 million, and its predecessor the PlayStation 3, still on sale, increased its sales to over 80 million units. The PlayStation 4 has also recently exceeded early sales expectations. Every single one of these consoles was brought to market with Jack Tretton, the current President and CEO of SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America), as part of the company.
Joining Sony’s ranks in 1995, Tretton’s work is described as having been “a pivotal role in launching all PlayStation platforms in North America”, helping to lay the foundations for the success of the aforementioned consoles (along with the PSP and the PS Vita). Now, it has been announced by Sony that after 19 years, Tretton will be stepping down from his role.
Tretton was also one of the founding members of the executive team behind PlayStation, with that early success setting the brand up for a long history in gaming and with the time being described as “the most rewarding experience of my career” by Tretton himself, it may seem unusual for him to be stepping down at a time when the PlayStation brand is establishing a lead over the competition which could be furthered by a man with Tretton’s experience. However, despite this, Tretton said the following in a statement, “I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation”.
Questions are already being raised about possible inner conflict amongst Sony’s ranks, with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai also being the subject of rumours that a dip in Sony’s overall revenue under his leadership may see him sacked, but this statement released by Sony seems to suggest anything but. Tretton’s departure, it seems, is due to the natural expiration of his contract, with the President and CEO of SCEA saying that he is “very excited about starting the next chapter of [his] career”,a start which will begin on March 31st, 2014. It has also been announced that Tretton’s replacement has already been found, suggesting little disarray of the future of the PlayStation brand.
The next President and CEO of SCEA is set to be Shawn Layden, the current Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI). Layden’s credentials seem to more than qualify him for the job, being both a “15-year PlayStation veteran” and a founding member of SNEI, putting together SNEI after a stint as the President if Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. His PlayStation experience leads his to say the following about the brand’s future,
“SCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail developer, publishing and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play.”
In addition to Layden’s statement, Tretton’s successor also received a ringing endorsement from Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, who says that he has “the utmost confidence in Shawn’s leadership capability and his deep knowledge of the gaming will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay.”
Layden is not set to take on his new role until April 1st, 2014 and although gamers may not see the results of Layden’s potential changes to the PlayStation brand for a while yet, we’ll keep you posted once we know more.