Sony has announced a management re-shuffling for its PlayStation business. The massive company announced today that Jim Ryan, the longtime PlayStation executive who most recently served as Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, will become SIE’s president and CEO. The move is effective April 1, 2019–this is not a joke.
John Kodera, the current president and CEO of SIE, will become Deputy President. In that position he will “dedicate his focus on creating innovative user experiences and further enhancing the network area,” Sony said in a statement.
Ryan, who has worked at Sony for a quarter of a century, will report directly to Sony’s overall president and CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida. PlayStation is big business for Sony. Yoshida said in a statement that Sony’s video game division, which is called Game & Network Services, is now Sony’s overall largest business when it comes to sales and operating income. He also said gaming is a “growth driver” for Sony going forward.
“This industry is relentlessly fast-moving, and to remain the market leader, we must constantly evolve ourselves with a sense of urgency,” Yoshida said. “Based on extensive discussions with John, I have decided to change the management structure of SIE to ensure sustainable evolution of the PlayStation platform and further growth of the network area.”
Yoshida said Kodera, the outgoing SIE CEO, will work towards further expanding PlayStation Network. It is already a massive service; it counts more than 90 million monthly active users globally, Sony said.
As for Ryan, he said it is a “huge honor” to become the president and CEO of SIE. “I’ve seen the PlayStation business grow and change massively since the very early days, and I hope to be able to put that experience to good use in reinforcing the foundations of the Game & Network Service business, and in evolving the entertainment that PlayStation offers to its engaged and passionate community,” he said.
Ryan originally joined Sony in 1994, holding various positions as he climbed the corporate ladder. In 2011, Sony appointed him as the president of SIEE, a position that saw him leading PlayStation’s business endeavours across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Oceania. Prior to his appointment to SIE Deputy President in January 2018, Ryan was SIE’s head of global sales and marketing.
Ryan is known for his candid and sometimes controversial comments in interviews. In 2017, Ryan explained why Sony didn’t at the time allow cross-play by saying doing so could potentially expose children to “external influences” that it could not directly control. Xbox leader Phil Spencer responded by calling out Ryan’s comments as being unhealthy for the video game industry overall.
In other Sony news, the company is skipping E3 this year–and here’s why.