Jack Tretton is a rarity in the games industry. He has been with a single platform for almost 20 years. In fact, he was there at the launch of the original PlayStation and stayed with Sony through all its subsequent product launches. With the PS4 out of the door, he’s now taking his leave.
Sony announced today that Tretton will be stepping down as President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America on March 31. There’s no reason given for this departure beyond a mutual agreement between Tretton and Sony not to renew their “contractual relationship.”
“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 stepping down must have been planned for a while as Sony already has a replacement waiting. Shawn Layden, the current EVP and COO of Sony Computer Entertainment International will be taking charge on April 1.
“It’s an honor and privilege to join Sony Computer Entertainment America and be a part of the team that is leading the next generation of gaming and entertainment,” said Layden. “SCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail, development, publishing and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play.”
The departure of Tretton is certainly the end of an era for Sony Computer Entertainment America. He’s been there since the beginning and has been one of the most well liked executives in the gaming industry. If Sony wants to keep its advantage going forward, Layden will have to be just as likable and meme inspiring as Tretton.
Image via PlayStation/YouTube