In a shocking turn of events, tonight, PlayStation has announced that the Chairman of Sony Interactive (SIE) Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden will be departing the company after a long and storied 32 year tenure with Sony. The news came via a tweet from the official PlayStation Twitter account. Currently, there is no word what Layden will do next or who will step up to replace him as the Chairman of the PlayStation first party.
It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. 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!
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 30, 2019
Shawn Layden first joined Sony way back in 1987 a full seven years before the original PlayStation released in Japan. After working his way up, Layden became the Vice President of Sony Entertainment Europe in 1999. Following this, Layden served a short three year tenure as the President of Sony Entertainment Japan from 2007 to 2010.
Starting in April 2010, Layden moved over to and became the COO of Sony Entertainment of America (SCEA). Layden would then become the President and CEO of SCEA following the departure of Jack Tretton in 2014. It is here when Layden became one of the faces of PlayStation and hosted the company’s E3 events from 2014-2018. In this position he would also oversee the rise and dominance of the PlayStation 4 which has now sold an astonishing 100 million units. Then, once SCEA became SIE back in 2018, Layden found himself in his now former role as the Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios.
Back at The Game Awards last year, Layden, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, and Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Amie, who retired from Nintendo earlier this year, opened up the show in solidarity to celebrate video games. This is also the second major departure from the PlayStation brand in the past few years after Andrew House left the company back in 2017. It will be interesting to see what Layden does next as well as who Sony decides who will be the next Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios will be.