Sony Interactive Entertainment's Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden is to step down. He's been with the company for more than 30 years.
This news comes via a tweet posted to the official PlayStation Twitter account. In the tweet, Sony says Layden's "visionary leadership" will be greatly missed and that it wishes him success in his future endeavors. The reason behind Layden's departure - as well as the timing and any possible replacement - aren't mentioned in the tweet. There's also nothing about the departure on Layden's official Twitter account. The phrase "future endeavors" does suggest he won't be retiring, but we're not sure yet.
Shawn Layden has worked with Sony in various official capacities since 1987. He began as a corporate communications worker and was Sony co-founder Akio Morita's Communications Assistant for a number of years. In 1999, Layden became Vice President of SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe). He then moved to Sony Computer Entertainment Japan in 2007, eventually becoming President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
In 2018, Sony decided to consolidate its worldwide divisions and appointed Layden as head of the new Worldwide Studios branch. It was Layden's role to "provide platform-defining content" and help Sony Interactive Entertainment to grow. It's not yet clear what happens now. Sony likely has a replacement for Layden lined up, but we don't know who that is or when they'll take over Layden's job. The PlayStation 5 is on the horizon, so Sony will want someone to drive the brand forward and keep things moving.
We might learn more about Layden's departure over the coming weeks and months. We'll definitely be learning who his successor will be shortly, so stay tuned for more news on this.
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