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Jack Tretton to Step Down as CEO and President of Sony America

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced today that Jack Tretton will be stepping down from his role of President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America as of March 31st, 2014. This is the result of a mutual agreement between Tretton and SCEA to not renew their contractual relationship.

Shawn Layden, currently Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, will become President and CEO of SCEA, effective April 1, 2014.

Mr Tretton has been serving SCEA for a long time. Since the inception of Sony’s American department in 1995, he was one of the executive members of the founding team.

Tretton played an integral role for the entirety of Sony’s American tenure and supervised the launch of all the big consoles in America , including the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network, and PlayStation Vita.

Tretton’s most recent achievement was supervising the launch of Playstation 4 – which sold more than a million units in just 24 hours in North America and is now the leading next-generation console ahead of its counter parts – Xbox One and the WiiU, both of which are struggling to keep up with the its success.

During his two decade long tenure, Tretton also oversaw the milestone of the Playstation 2 selling more than 50 million units in North America and aggressive expansion of Sony in Canada and Latin America.

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.

A playstation veteran of 15 years, Layden was one of the founding members of the SNEI in 2010. He joined the company directly from Sony Computer Entertainment where he recently held the position of President.

His long and prosperous career also included him working for eight years at Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide studios in London where he directed international software development.

Layden expressed his gratitude of being bestowed the opportunity to be part of some of the lead next generation developers and explained the commitment SCEA has to deliver the expectation of fans and to exceed their wildest expectations.

He also conveyed his thoughts on the PS4 as being an impressive product that he will work on to get others recognize its potential and choose the Playstation over competitive platforms.

Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment also voiced his thoughts on that matter of him having worked with Tretton for nearly two decades and that being grateful for all that Tretton had offered and done for himself, SCEA and the Playstation brand over the years.

Mr. House further went on to welcome Layden to the SCEA team and expressed his confidence in Layden’s abilities and his respect for Layden’s deep knowledge of the gaming industry and his commitment to gamers. He rounded it all up by saying that he was confident that Layden would help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay.

This all seems like pretty big news!

What do you think Sony’s going to churn out with this major executive change? Is the Playstation going to get something really revolutionary or is the two decade long successful franchise that Tretton helped build is in danger with this change?

Voice your thoughts on the matter in the comments below!