We've seen a little bit of everything over the years in the gaming and electronics industry, yet some announcements still manage to surprise us. This is one of them. Jack Tretton, the face of Sony's
PlayStation console for nearly the past two decades, is stepping down from his role as President and CEO of Sony effective March 31, 2014.
"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," said Tretton. "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."
Tretton joined Sony in 1995, a year after the company launched its original PlayStation console. Since then, he's been a driving force in promoting Sony's various systems in the U.S., including the company's handhelds, as well as its latest game system, the PlayStation 4, which sold more than 1 million units in 24 hours in North America. At last count, Sony had sold 6 million PS4 consoles
around the world in less than four months.
It's not clear why he's chosen to step away from Sony, though the company did say his leaving is the result of a "mutual agreement" between him and SCEA to not renew his contract.
Shawn Layden, a 15-year PlayStation veteran who currently serves as Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, will fill Tretton's shoes as President and COO effective April 1, 2014.