PlayStation abruptly announce the departure of Shawn Layden, Chairman of Worldwide Studios. Layden originally joined Sony Interactive Entertainment in 1987, and PlayStation say they are "deeply grateful" to him for the years he's spent with them.
There hasn't previously been any hint of this departure, and Layden himself hasn't yet commented. Nor is there any word as yet of any replacement. PlayStation mention Layden's "visionary leadership"; some of Sony's most popular games, such as God of War, have come out whilst he was in this role. He's also been a pretty public face, participating on behalf of Sony at E3 conferences for several years. Before he was chairman of Worldwide, he succeeded Jack Tretton as President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, but his history with Sony extends way back, to when he joined Sony's corporate communications department in Japan, 1987.
As pointed out by Gematsu, Atsushi Morita, Sony's Japan president and corporate director of Sony has also left the company; he's retiring due to age. His reason for departure and his replacement as director (Kazuhiko Takeda) have both been announced, so there's less to wonder at here than with Layden's abrupt departure. Sony's got Death Stranding coming up, and assuming that there's not long to go before we hear something more about the PS5, it seems a pretty crucial time for such a senior employee to leave.
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