Out of the blue, PlayStation has announced the departure of Shawn Layden, the Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Chairman.
“It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE,” tweeted Sony in a message which for all the world sounded like he’d died. “His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”
Layden has been president and CEO of SCEA since April 2014, taking over the outgoing Jack Tretton, before moving to Worldwide Studios in March 2018. His tenure with Sony stretches back far further than that though, originally joining Sony;s corporate communications department way back in 1987, some six years before the first PlayStation launched.
He’s a veteran then, and a guiding hand over Sony’s console gaming divisions for the entirety of their existence. For Sony, Layden’s absence will surely be keenly felt. Successors like new was of doing things; to imprint their stamp on their business, so this could well end up being a big change for how Sony PlayStation operates in the coming years.
Layden’s replacement in the position of Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios has yet to be announced, although the successor has got some big shoes to fill. Whoever it is, they’re rocking up just in time for a big moment – the expected announcement and launch of the PlayStation 5.