Sony company (6758.T) announced Thursday that gaming boss Jim Ryan would retire in March, and President Hiroki Totoki would serve as temporary CEO while a successor is founded.
British-born Ryan became Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) CEO in 2019 and managed the PlayStation 5 launch.
“Jim no longer wants to manage the tradeoff between a U.S. job and a U.K. home,” SIE added.
“He inspired SIE through the global COVID pandemic and led PlayStation 5’s launch, making it PlayStation’s most successful platform.”
A Sony official stated Totoki might remain temporary CEO for a year, and Ryan’s retirement may name a replacement.
“Ryan’s CEO career was short, many gaming leaders stay on longer,” stated Kantan Games founder Serkan Toto.
After supply chain issues were resolved, Sony anticipated to sell a record 25 million PlayStation 5 systems this fiscal year, but in August, it announced incentives to boost sales.
Ryan’s replacement must expand Sony’s PC and smartphone game lineup and increase live service games, which enable continuous, updated play.
“Sony is in a great position in the console war with Microsoft, but gaming will change dramatically in the coming years,” stated Toto.
In the long term, the Japanese conglomerate’s gaming sector, a big earnings generator, must negotiate an industry in upheaval as cellphones and cloud technology question the necessity for stand-alone consoles with $70 games.
Ryan acquired “Destiny” creator Bungie to stay ahead of Xbox manufacturer Microsoft and launched a virtual reality headset to mainstream the technology.
“Jim Ryan has been a great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation,” Xbox CEO Phil Spencer wrote on Twitter.
Sony was praised for its shift to entertainment and its success repurposing its brands, such as “The Last Of Us” on TV.