It’s almost game over for Sony’s longtime Playstation boss, who is retiring from the company after almost 30 years: CEO Jim Ryan will step down in March, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Thursday.
To help with the transition, Sony Group President, COO and CFO Hiroki Totoki will add to chairman of the unit and interim CEO to his roles, the company said in a statement.
Ryan joined what was then Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 1994, just before the first Playstation was released and moved up through various roles to become president and CEO in January 2018.
He led the division through the launch of Playstation 5 in November 2020, deploying a pandemic-era strategy of online only sales for its debut. More than 40 million units have sold since, despite initial disruption due to supply chain problems.
“Jim Ryan has been an inspirational leader throughout his entire period with us, but never more so than in overseeing the launch of PlayStation 5 in the midst of the global COVID pandemic,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said in a statement. “That extraordinary achievement made by the entire SIE team has been steadily built on and PlayStation 5 is on track to become SIE’s most successful console yet.”
Ryan, 63, said the move in part reflects the need for him to work in the U.S. even though he lives in Europe.
“I’ve relished the opportunity to have a job I love in a very special company, working with great people and incredible partners,” he said. “But I’ve found it increasingly difficult to reconcile living in Europe and working in North America. I will leave having been privileged to work on products that have touched millions of lives across the world; PlayStation will always be part of my life, and I feel more optimistic than ever about the future of SIE.”