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Jack Tretton to step down as President and CEO of SCEA

playstation-logoIn some highly unexpected news today, Sony today has confirmed that Jack Tretton will be leaving Sony Computer Entertainment America and stepping down from his duties as President and CEO. After the super successful launch of the PS4, the timing is odd to say the least.

Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, Shawn Layden, will take over for Mr. Tretton beginning in April.

Check out the press release from Sony below.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today announced that Jack Tretton will step down from his role as President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) as of March 31, 2014. This is a result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to 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 with SCEA since its inception in 1995. As one of the founding members of the executive team, Tretton played a pivotal role in launching all PlayStation® platforms in North America, including the original PlayStation®, PlayStation®2, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), PlayStation®3, PlayStation® Network, and PlayStation®Vita. Most recently, Tretton led the record-breaking launch of PlayStation®4 (PS4™), which sold more than one million units in 24 hours in North America and is now the #1 next generation gaming console in North America and worldwide. During his tenure, Tretton was also responsible for achieving several industry milestones, including surpassing 50 million units sold of PlayStation®2 in North America, and aggressively growing the PlayStation business 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 15-year PlayStation veteran, Layden was one of the founding members of SNEI in 2010, joining the company directly from Sony Computer Entertainment, where he most recently held the position of President, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan.  His career at Sony Computer Entertainment also included eight years at SCE Worldwide Studios in London where he directed international software development.

"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."

"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. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment. "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."