Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO and President Jack Tretton announces that he’ll be stepping down from the position at the end of March.

jacktretton

For the past two decades, Jack Tretton has been synonymous with the PlayStation brand. His influence helped shape the PlayStation 4 as well as innumerable games and content, and throughout the years he has become an iconic figurehead for the gaming world.

But now it appears that Tretton is moving on from his lofty executive position, and according to the announcement on the official PlayStation Blog, the beloved SCEA President will be departing the company.

Tretton himself revealed that the decision not to renew his contract was mutually agreed upon by himself and SCEA, and delivered the following farewell message to the PlayStation community:

PlayStation Nation,

It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that I will be stepping down as President and CEO of SCEA effective March 31, 2014. This is a result of a mutual agreement with SCEA, and I leave knowing that the PlayStation brand has never been stronger, PlayStation 4 momentum continues to accelerate, and the future will only get brighter for our gamers.

Serving PlayStation fans for the past 19 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Your passion for gaming inspired me every day.

I want to thank you for constantly pushing PlayStation to deliver breakthrough gaming and entertainment experiences, and to never settle for “good enough.” The embodiment of this commitment can be found in the PS4, which has quickly become the #1 next-gen console worldwide…thanks to you.

We’ve shared many memories over the past two decades and I’ll always be grateful for your support.

Thank you,

Jack Tretton

Shawn Layden

Shawn Layden, the Sony executive who will replace Tretton as CEO and President of SCEA.

Shawn Layden, the Executive VP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, will be commandeering the mantle of acting CEO and President of SCEA starting April 1. Many gamers are wondering whether or not this is some elaborate April Fools joke, seeing as Laydenwill take over the position on that very day, but this appears to be genuine in all accounts.

Layden has served with Sony for over 15 years, and has had a colorful career within the company; his positions include President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ) as well as spending eight years directing software development at the London branch of SCE Worldwide Studios.

“I’ve worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he’s made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years,” Layden said in an official Sony press release announcement.

SCE President Andrew House had the following to say about Tretton’s departure, and is confident that Layden will be an apt replacement for the position:

“I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. I also want to welcome Shawn to the Sony Computer Entertainment America team.

“I have the utmost confidence in Shawn’s leadership capabilities, and his deep knowledge of the gaming industry and commitment to gamers, will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay.”

It will be interesting to see how Layden’s influence helps direct the future of SCEA and the PlayStation brand, but he will certainly have to warm up the community, as many saw Tretton as irreplaceable. Layden certainly has some big shoes to fill, and hopefully this change in leadership won’t have a negative impact on the future of PlayStation.

Via PlayStation Blog