Sony’s PlayStation brand has had a busy 12 months, from the launch of its PlayStation VR headset and the release of the PS4 Pro, but the man who oversaw these releases is leaving the company.
In a press release today, President and Group CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), Andrew House, announced that he will be leaving Sony after 27 years at the company. House will “will transition from operational management of SIE, but will remain with SIE as Chairman through the year to ensure a smooth transition” explains Sony. House’s role as PlayStation boss will then be taken over by Tsuyoshi “John” Kodera, who has been in charge of Sony’s network business since 2013 and was appointed to the role of Deputy President of SIE in 2016.
House began working at Sony in 1990 where he worked in the corporate communications department. He then rose through the ranks to become the head of the PlayStation brand, a role he took over from Kazuo Hirai in 2011. Hirai, who is the President and CEO of Sony Corporation, said that he is “extremely grateful” for Andy’s “great contribution” and how he has helped to ‘evolve’ the PlayStation business, “firmly positioning it as one of the drivers of our future growth.”
Given that Sony’s head honcho thinks that House is a fantastic leader, some may be wondering why the Sony executive has chosen to depart the role. There is no bad blood between House and his employer, but he explains that “with the business having achieved record-breaking success, now seemed to be the right time for me to pursue new challenges”.
Looking at the current strength of the PlayStation brand, many can understand this sentiment. Over 60 million PS4 units have been sold around the globe and with exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Death Stranding, and Detroit: Become Human drawing fans in, the brand is set to go from strength to strength.
Current objectives for PlayStation appear to be establishing the PlayLink mobile party play system, getting even more PlayStation VR units into homes, and continuing to make system-selling exclusives. These tasks aren’t simple but they are less difficult than the previous hurdles that House has had to overcome. For example, House had to launch the PS4, making sure it got off to a less rocky start than the PS3 did. It’s unclear what challenges House will be facing next but the departing executive does say that the “future of PlayStation is very bright”.