PlayStation Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden is leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment. The publisher announced the executive’s departure in a tweet on Monday evening. Here’s the official statement from SIE:
“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!”
I reached out to Sony for more about this major shakeup, but a company spokesperson said it does not have any additional info at this time. So Sony isn’t revealing what is happening with Layden’s role or if someone else is going to step into his job.
Layden is only the latest PlayStation exec to leave Sony
This is the latest high-profile PlayStation executive to leave Sony. PlayStation head Jack Tretton left in 2014. In 2017, Andrew House, who was one of the long-time leaders of PlayStation, also left. Other executives like Adam Boyes, who was in charge of relations with third-party companies, left in 2016. And John Drake, who led business development for bringing games to the PlayStation VR, left Sony earlier this year.
And now Layden joins that list, and his departure is among the most stunning. He started working for Sony in 1987, which was years before the first PlayStation. In 1999, he moved to the London division of Sony Computer Entertainment. He then took on the role of president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan until 2010. In 2014, he replaced Tretton as the president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. Then, in 2018, his job morphed into president of Worldwide Studios, which seemed like a step down at the time.
Layden’s absence leaves a handful of familiar names at the top of SIE. Jim Ryan, who took over as president and CEO of SIE in February, is still in that job. Shuhei Yoshida, who used to have Layden’s job and works within Worldwide Studios, is also still at the company.