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Susan Panico, head of the PlayStation Network in North America, has left the company, VentureBeat has learned.

Panico headed the PlayStation Network as it grew into a huge online entertainment network over the last few years, growing beyond games into a collection of movies, TV shows and original content. Worldwide, the service has more than 77 million registered users.

But the network also faced big challenges during that time as well. In the spring of last year, the PSN suffered an unprecedented six-week outage after a hacker attack. Angry gamers couldn’t log into the network to play multiplayer gamers and Sony had to apologize and invite players back with special offers.

Patrick Seybold, spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment America, said, “We can confirm Susan has left SCEA. We thank her for her considerable contribution to our business and wish her every success in the future.”

No word yet on who is replacing Panico. But she did get a new boss back in October, when Guy Longworth was appointed senior vice president of marketing and PSN. Longworth replaced Peter Dille, who left that job in March 2011.

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