Management Shake Up Hits Sony

Sony has taken steps to reorganize and shake up its management team with several unexpected reassignments in the wake of more negative press for the electronics leviathan.

Ken Kutaragi, the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, has been reassigned and will take on the new role as chairman and group CEO starting December 1. Kutaragi, who spearheaded the designs of the PS1, PS2, and PS3, and is considered as the “father” of the Playstation, will be replaced by Kaz Hirai. Hirai presently holds the position of president of North America operations of Sony Computer Entertainment of America. He will be moving to Japan to assume his new responsibilities. SCEA executive vice president Jack Tretton will take Hirai,s former position.

In other shuffling moves, David Reeves of Sony Computer Europe will be moved from his position as president and co-COO to serve as deputy president. The current deputy president, Masaru Kato, will continue in his duties alongside Reeves. Sony Europe will also be moving board member Akira Sato to the new role as vice chairman of SCEI.

The apparent demotions of Kutaragi at Sony headquarters in Japan and Reeves at Sony Europe may be writing on the wall indicating that those who are in charge of PS3 operations will be held accountable. A recent Newsweek report fingered Kutaragi for the loss of several major game franchises: Assassin,s Creed and Grand Theft Auto IV. The magazine cited Kutaragi’s slowness as the main cause for the third party losses.

The PS3 has had a rocky year, beginning with a problematic design, and worsening as manufacturing difficulties and a launch title drought led to the currently widespread shortages of the PlayStation 3. Sony has also suffered at the hands of the press, which has largely derided Sony for the PS3’s numerous stumbles on its way to retailers. Earlier this year, SCEA PR chief Molly Smith, a well respected executive in the game industry, suddenly resigned her post shortly after the E3 convention this past May. Speculation surfaced that her quick exit from her job of 10 years at Sony was related to the negative reactions to the PS3 at E3.

The shakeups at Sony may indicate that the company is moving to fix internal problems and is trying to set the course for a more progressive direction for the company.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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