Sony Computer Entertainment has today announced the appointment of Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, as Chairman, and Andrew House, President, CEO and Co-COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), as President and Group CEO of SCEI, effective September 1, 2011.
The company also announced the retirement of Akira Sato, Chairman, effective August 31, 2011. It was also announced that as of June 28, Ken Kutaragi has retired from his role as Honorary Chairman of SCEI.
House joined Sony Corporation in 1990, where he worked in corporate communications for five years. In April 1995, he was transferred to SCEI and assigned to the marketing and communications division, where he made a significant contribution in successfully launching the original PlayStation computer entertainment system and its business during its early stages. In March 1996, House was promoted to Vice President, Marketing of Sony Computer Entertainment America, where he led SCEA’s efforts to establish the North American market for the original PlayStation as well as formulating and executing the market strategies which led to the successful launch of the PlayStation®2 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) businesses. House was also instrumental in developing the PlayStation brand into a household name in North America. In addition to his marketing responsibilities, he also led the Third Party Relations from 2000, as well as Developer Support from 2003, making sizeable contributions in establishing and maintaining firm relationships with third party game developers and publishers in North America as well as growing content alliances.
Acknowledged for his invaluable contribution to the expansion of the PlayStation business and to the company’s marketing and brand management efforts, House was appointed CMO of Sony Corporation in 2005, with global responsibility for corporate marketing across all of Sony’s businesses with primary emphasis in building value in the Sony brand. During his tenure, House led the effort to establish Sony’s new group brand message, “make.believe”.
In May 2009, House was assigned a new role as President, CEO and Co-COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), managing the PlayStation business across nearly 100 countries in the European/PAL territories, including the company’s PlayStation 2, PSP and PlayStation 3 platforms as well as PlayStation Network.
In his new capacity as President and Group CEO of the entire SCE Group, and working in close liaison with Hirai, SCEI Deputy President Kunimasa Suzuki, as well as business units and regional headquarters’ management teams, House will bring his strong leadership skills and experience to fulfill his responsibilities to reinforce and further accelerate the development of the PlayStation business including PlayStation®Vita, the next generation portable entertainment system, scheduled to launch starting holiday season 2011. Jim Ryan, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of SCEE will assume the role of President and CEO of SCEE as of September 1, 2011.
Sato joined SCEI in 1993 as one of the founding members. As Deputy President and COO, he made numerous contributions especially in building a new business model in the world of computer entertainment as well as in the area of game software development by discovering new talent and introducing a broad range and number of unique titles and franchises. Sato was instrumental in strengthening and consolidating SCE’s global development resources with the creation of SCE Worldwide Studios, building the deepest and most globally diverse development resource of any game platform holder. In November 2005, he stepped down from operating responsibilities, and after resuming his executive role as Vice Chairman in December 2006, and as Chairman from July 2009, he has worked tirelessly to help guide the entire SCE Group operation.
As Representative Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation, and President of Consumer Products & Services Group (CPSG), Hirai will accelerate the implementation of a faster, stronger, and integrated strategy to create new user experience and generate added value by uniting hardware, content and network, both for the home and on the go, while further accelerating the development of the PlayStation® business in close collaboration with House.
Suzuki will remain in his current position as Deputy President, SCEI, and will assist House by playing an active role in further expanding the possibilities in the PlayStation business. Also as Corporate Executive, SVP, Sony Corporation, and Deputy President of CPSG, Suzuki will continue to vigorously promote Sony’s growth strategies particularly in the IT mobile domain.
House will strive to lead the PlayStation business to new heights, by fully leveraging the skills and expertise he has gained over the years in Japan, North America and in Europe. House, in cooperation with Hirai and Suzuki, will also contribute to further enhancing competitive strength and profitability of the Sony Group, through optimally allocating various assets ranging from technology to human resources, across Sony and SCE.
“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,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, SCEI. “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 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.”
“SCE has benefitted tremendously from Sato-san in establishing the PlayStation brand as well as in expanding its businesses worldwide,” Hirai continued. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Sato-san for the countless contributions he has made to the PlayStation business and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”
“Since returning to SCE two years ago, I have focused on further expanding our business in the European/PAL territories and regaining our market leadership there. It is both an honour 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.” said Andrew House, President and CEO and Co-COO of SCEE.
“It has been a wonderful experience with PlayStation since the company’s founding in 1993,” said Akira Sato, Chairman of SCEI. “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the great support from third party game developers and publishers and particularly to the wonderful creators all over the world. Without the great content from a wide spectrum of genres made by third party game developers and publishers, as well as SCE Worldwide Studios, PlayStation would not be where it is now. I thank everyone for their continuous help in fulfilling PlayStation’s mission to deliver high quality entertainment experiences to users around the world.”
Kutaragi will continue in his role as senior technology adviser of Sony Corporation.
Members of the Board of Directors (as of September 1, 2011)
Kazuo Hirai : Chairman Andrew House : President and Group CEO Kunimasa Suzuki : Deputy President Howard Stringer Masaru Kato