Jack Tretton steps down as SCEA President and CEO

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. today announced that Jack Tretton, after a 19-year tenure as Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) President and CEO, will withdraw from the role as of March 31, 2014. He will be replaced by Shawn Layden, Sony Computer Entertainment International (SCEI) Executive Vice President and COO, as of April 1.

Jack Tretton’s forfeiture of his role stems from “a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship,” and does not appear to be the result of foul play or a mistake by Tretton.

For PlayStation, this is quite the loss. Tretton was one of the founding members of the executive PlayStation team in 1995, and has since led SCEA through six consoles’ and a network’s worth of ups and downs, through the current high note of the PlayStation 4.

“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.”

Shawn Layden is no slouch himself. As Tretton was a founding member of SCEA in 1995, Layden was a founding member of Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) in 2010. He joined SCEI “directly from Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), where he most recently held the position of President, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan” (SCEJA). He also spent eight years at Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) in London, also known simply as London Studio, where he directed international software development. Layden has worked for PlayStation for a total of 15 years.

“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.”

Jack Tretton’s future has not yet been announced.

How do you feel about Jack Tretton’s departure? What do you know about Shawn Layden? How will this affect PlayStation in the future? This is big news indeed, so let’s talk about it below.