Jack Tretton has formally announced his decision to step down from his position as the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America [SCEA] after almost twenty years with the company.
This decision has reportedly been a "result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship", according to the official Sony press release. [sourced from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jack-tretton-to-step-down-as-president-and-ceo-of-sony-computer-entertainment-america-248876781.html]
Jack Tretton first began working at the SCEA during its inception in in 1995 and has been personally overseen the development of every single PlayStation gaming console to date, including the PS Vita handheld.
He has become a familiar face to many PlayStation fans, who have witnessed him giving several presentations at big gaming events like E3 over the years. During these presentations, Tretton never failed to show how proud he was of the SCEA and how grateful he was to its many fans for their continued support in the growth of the PlayStation brand.
Today, Jack Tretton echoed those sentiments in the following statement: "Serving PlayStation fans for the past 19 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Your passion for gaming inspired me every day. I want to thank you for constantly pushing PlayStation to deliver breakthrough gaming and entertainment experiences, and to never settle for “good enough.” The embodiment of this commitment can be found in the PS4, which has quickly become the #1 next-gen console worldwide...thanks to you. We’ve shared many memories over the past two decades and I’ll always be grateful for your support." [sourced from: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/03/06/a-message-from-jack-tretton/]
Tretton has also been noted as helping to lead the company to several important company milestones, including surpassing fifty million units sold with the PlayStation 2 in North America, and aggressively growing the PlayStation business in Canada and Latin America
Most recently, Tretton led the record-breaking launch of the PS4, which sold more than one million units in 24 hours in North America and is now considered to be the number one next generation gaming console in North America and worldwide.
Thus, it seems like an odd time from the CEO to step down from his position. Nevertheless, it seems as though Jack Tretton wishes to leave the company on a high note. In a message posted to the Playstation blog earlier today, Tretton announced: "I leave knowing that the PlayStation brand has never been stronger, PlayStation 4 momentum continues to accelerate, and the future will only get brighter for our gamers" [sourced from: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/03/06/a-message-from-jack-tretton/]
Jack Tretton will officially step down at the end of March 2014. The current Vice-President of SCEA, Shawn Layden, is set to take over from Tretton on the first of April this year.
Layden announced that he is very excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Playstation brand into the next generation. He said: "It's an honor and privilege to join Sony Computer Entertainment America and be a part of the team that is leading the next generation of gaming and entertainment. SCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail, development, publishing and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play." [sourced from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jack-tretton-to-step-down-as-president-and-ceo-of-sony-computer-entertainment-america-248876781.html]
It remains uncertain how the departure of such an influential figure such as Jack Tretton will ultimately effect the PlayStation brand, but Shawn Layden, (a fifteen year veteran with the Sony Computer Entertainment corporation himself,) certainly has some very big shoes to fill if he is to succeed in his mission to continue the success that the SCEA has seen under his predecessor.