PlayStation boss stepping down after 30 years at Sony

Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of Sony Interactive Entertainment, is stepping down after almost 30 years with the company.

The boss of Sony’s lucrative PlayStation video game unit will retire in March 2024, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

He joined Sony in 1994, just before the first PlayStation console was introduced, and was appointed to his current role in 2019.

The 63-year-old executive said he’s found it difficult to reconcile living in Europe, while working in North America.

“I will leave having been privileged to have a job that I love in a very special company working with great people,” Ryan said.

In a move that underscores the importance of the division, Hiroki Totoki, president and chief financial officer of parent Sony Group Corp., will become interim CEO of the games business when Ryan leaves.

He’ll continue in his current roles as the company searches for a successor.

Ryan led the video-game division during the launch of its latest console, the PlayStation 5, in November 2020.

Although the release initially suffered from supply chain issues due to Covid and was difficult to purchase, it has since surpassed 40 million units sold.

Ryan was a critic of Microsoft Corp.’s agreement to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion, lobbying against the deal with federal regulators.

He also criticised Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in late 2021 following allegations that the company behind the popular Call of Duty games failed to adequately respond to allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment of women.

He sometimes caused controversy of his own.

Last year, Ryan angered some staffers after sending a memo that combined comments about the US Supreme Court’s decision on abortion access with five paragraphs about his two cats’ first birthday.

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PlayStation boss stepping down after 30 years at Sony