Sony has announced a reshuffling of the management team at its video game division, Sony Computer Entertainment International, with Kaz Hirai taking a new chairman role, and Andrew House appointed as president and group CEO.
House will replace Hirai as CEO of SCEI's consumer products unit -- which includes PlayStation -- effective September 1, 2011. Hirai was originally promoted
to the role back in March of this year.
Although the shuffle comes soon after a cyber attack against Sony that affected 77 million PlayStation Network and 25 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts, the company denied the management changes are related to the security breach, according to Reuters
Having worked at Sony for over 20 years, House played a key role in the launches of the original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and the PSP. He is currently president and CEO of SCEE, where he has managed the PlayStation brand in European territories since May 2009.
Sony said in a statement that House will be responsible for further accelerating the development of the upcoming PlayStation Vita, scheduled to be launched later this year. Jim Ryan will assume House's current role at SCEE.
House said of the move, "It is both an honor and a privilege to be named as president and group CEO at SCEI. I believe there is huge potential for further growth of our business globally, and I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the SCE Group and with other groups in Sony to help achieve this potential by pursuing the creation of brand new user experiences."
In Hirai's new role as chairman, he will work alongside House in the development of the PlayStation business. Kunimasa Suzuki will remain in his role as deputy president at SCEI, and work closely with House and Hirai.
Hirai explained, "In fiscal 2010, we achieved profitability for the first time in five years as a result of group-wide united efforts, including continuous cost reduction for PS3 in which I first took the initiative after assuming president of SCEI in December 2006."
"We are facing new challenges this year, such as the successful launch of PlayStation Vita and further growth of PS3 platform as well as expansion of non-gaming business. I’m confident that the skills and expertise Andy [House] has gained over two decades working for Sony and SCE Group will contribute enormously in leading the PlayStation business and to bring new initiatives in managing the business in the networked era."
It was also revealed that Akira Sato, chairman for SCEI, will retire from his role effective August 31, 2011, while Ken Kutaragi, as of yesterday, has retired from his position as honorary chairman of SCEI.