Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced that Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden has left PlayStation. Further details are currently a bit scarce. For example, it's unclear whether Layden is retiring or simply moving on. Whatever the case, the news was shared via a Japanese press release, leaving English-speaking PlayStation gamers with nothing more than a tweet from the official PlayStation account relaying the announcement.
"It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE," reads the tweet. "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!"
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
Again, further, more revealing details, haven't surfaced. However, there are rumblings of this being a result of an internal struggle at PlayStation. How much truth there is to this, who knows, but it's coming from some rather noteworthy sources. At the moment, Layden hasn't commented on the development, and Sony Interactive Entertainment hasn't announced his successor. It's likely both of these things will change very soon, especially the former.
For those that don't know: Layden joined Sony back in 1987, in Japan, via its corporate communications department. He served as a communications assistant for Sony co-founder Akio Morita. Eventually, Layden managed international software development for Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio until 1999, which is when he became Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. In 2007, he shifted to the same position, but in Japan. He held this position until 2010, when he became one of the founding members of Sony Network Entertainment International as Executive Vice President and COO.
In 2014, Layden succeeded Jack Trenton as President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. He held this position until March 2018, when he shifted to focus solely on Worldwide Studios. Upon leaving, Layden racked up 32 years at Sony. In other words, his presence and expertise will be missed.