Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced today that its current director, chairman, CEO, and "father of the PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi will be retiring in June, with president and COO Kazuo Hirai taking his place as full leader of the PlayStation business.
Kutaragi will be retiring from his SCEI position as of June 19th, at which point, Sony says, he will "pass on the torch to the next generation, stepping back from his executive management responsibility of the company to serve as Honorary Chairman of SCEI."
Sony has also said that Kutaragi will "continue to support" Sony CEO Howard Stringer, "with his deep and instinctive insight into future technology."
Replacing him in all his roles will be Kazuo Hirai, who was recently promoted
from president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America to group COO and president of SCEI as of December of 2006.
Said Kutaragi in a statement, “I am happy to graduate from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. after introducing four platforms to the PlayStation family. It has been an exciting experience to change the world of computer entertainment by marrying cutting edge technologies with creative minds from all over the world. I’m looking forward to building on this vision in my next endeavors.”
Added Stringer, “Ken Kutaragi is a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure. Not only has he created a multi-billion dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension. Sony has benefited tremendously from his vision, his creative genius, and from the very strong team he assembled and nurtured. As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him. My support also goes to Kazuo Hirai, who is a terrific executive with a proven track record with PlayStation business in the US. I am confident that he will inspire and lead SCEI to new heights.”