Sony has announced that Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden has left PlayStation. Further details about the departure are scarce at the moment. Sony announced Layden’s departure on their official Twitter page. The reason for his departure hasn’t been given and a successor for his place hasn’t been announced yet.
The tweet announcing the news can be read below. The announcement has come as a shock as Layden had been with the company for some time. It is unclear if the former Chairman was fired, decided to retire or just simply moved on to greener pastures. In recent years, Layden has grown to become one of the major faces of the PlayStation brand and appeared at or even presented many big events. One of his most recent achievements is the acquisition of Insomniac Studios, which was incorporated into the company’s list of first-party studios.
It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 30, 2019
Layden a graduate of Notre Dame, joined Sony in 1987 in Japan as a member of its Corporate Communications Department. He then served as Communications Assistant for Sony co-founder Akio Morita. In 1999, he became Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and worked his way through the company, eventually being named President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment of America in 2014; a position which he held until March 2018, after which his focus shifted towards Worldwide Studios.
In total, Layden racked up 32 years at Sony and going forward his presence and expertise will be missed. PlayStation will surely be different and whoever is going to take his place will have some big shoes to fill.