Sony names new PlayStation chief for 2nd time in 2 years

A Sony PlayStation 4 video game console and controller are arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan. (Bloomberg pic)

TOKYO: Sony promoted a marketing executive to become the new chief of its PlayStation business, the second management shuffle in less than two years at one of the company’s most important divisions.

Jim Ryan will take over as president of Sony Interactive Entertainment effective April 1 after previously leading the division’s sales and marketing teams, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement Tuesday.

He replaces John Kodera, who will now be deputy president and focus on PlayStation’s online service.

Kodera had led the division since Oct 2017, after his longtime predecessor resigned.

The management changes come at a critical time for Sony, which is preparing to unveil a successor to the PlayStation 4 console as soon as this year.

Sony’s shares fell 11% last week after the company reported a worse-than-projected profit at its video-games division, underscoring the PS4’s fading appeal as it heads into its sixth year.

“I have decided to change the management structure of SIE to ensure sustainable evolution of the PlayStation platform and further growth of the network area,” Ken Yoshida, Sony’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Sony shares slipped 1.1% in Tokyo and are down 8.9% this year.