Veteran PlayStation boss Jack Tretton to step down

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO to leave his position at the end of the month; Tretton helped launch every PlayStation platform to date.

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton will step down from his position at the PlayStation company at the end of the month.

"This is a result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship," Sony said in a statement.

Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) VP and COO Shawn Layden will become CEO of SCEA effective April 1, 2014.

Tretton has worked at SCEA since the group was created in 1995 and was a founding member of the company's executive team. He was involved in the launch of all PlayStation platforms in North America, including the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network, PlayStation Vita, and of course, the PlayStation 4.

"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," Tretton said in a statement. "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners, and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."

It is unclear why Tretton has decided to leave PlayStation or what he will do next. The announcement of his departure from the company comes during the same week that Sony announced that the PS4 had sold over 6 million units to date.

As for his replacement, Layden was a founding member of SNEI in 2010. He also worked at Sony Computer Entertainment, including eight years at SCE Worldwide Studios in London where he oversaw internal software development.

"It's an honor and privilege to join Sony Computer Entertainment America and be a part of the team that is leading the next generation of gaming and entertainment," Layden said. "SCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail, development, publishing, and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play."

Sony Computer Entertainment president and Group CEO Andrew House added a statement of his own, thanking Tretton for his contributions to the company and welcoming Layden to the group.

"I've worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he's made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors," House said. "I also want to welcome Shawn to the Sony Computer Entertainment America team. I have the utmost confidence in Shawn's leadership capabilities, and his deep knowledge of the gaming industry and commitment to gamers, will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

435 comments
inso-maniac
inso-maniac

going out with a bang 6million sold "im out"

soulless4now
soulless4now

Good luck to him and the next chapter of his life.

Penguinlord1
Penguinlord1

Man, people can start a console war out of anything, can't they? Based on some of the comments below, I guess people can. (-_-")

meedokicky
meedokicky

gonna miss seeing him at E3 shows :) good luck sir!

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

With how well PS4 is doing, his leaving probably has nothing to do with something bad, but it's probably about wanting to move on to another chapter of his life.

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

Again, thank you sir for all your support. You're lucky to have great fans from different generations. 

bluebird08
bluebird08

I hope he's not leaving cause something bad is about to happen to sony.

Could just be me being worried.

gam3r80
gam3r80

so many butthurt xbots in here and I don't know why

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I bet the guy felt like a rock star at last years E3. He's probably been doing drugs and banging groupies ever since. The lifestyle's probably finally taken its toll on him. :oP

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

As a PlayStation gamer since 96' I would like to thank you Mr Tretton for your commitment to giving us an awesome gaming experience with PlayStation and with it.. a lot of great memories. Take it easy bruh. PLAYSTATION NATION 4 LIFE!!!

Jock9
Jock9

Ah its a shame, if the man's been around through PSOne and PS2 then he's seen alot. But being Sony's spokesperson for nearly 20 must take its toll. He's earned retirement if that's why he's leaving, and if he chooses to go into publishing then his book would be interesting in particular about the PSOne.

Good luck mate.

dysonlu
dysonlu

The only sphere of the Internet where there is speculation that Sony will go bankrupt soon is not the financial market sphere, not the global business sphere, not in the economics sphere, but in the videogaming sphere.  LMAO! Enough said.

starjay009
starjay009

Thank you for everything sir. SONY had become that much better with you at the helm. Wish you the very best for the future. 

rlakhani11
rlakhani11

For a moment, I thought they mistakenly put Michael Cane's picture :).

ank000
ank000

Mr. Tretton thank you for your 19 years of service to Sony and to us gamers. And good luck to Mr. Layden the new CEO , hope you will carry forward Mr. Tretton's legacy.

Merex760
Merex760

Elop leading Xbox, Tretton stepping down at Sony. Not a good time for either platform. 

Barighm
Barighm

If it's a contractual issue, then it's a simple matter of him asking for a significant raise on his previous contract and Sony saying "nah". Sort of like sports players.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

Tretton, I will always remember you as the person who converted me from Xbox to PlayStation.

Good luck on your new endeavours.

shadowkratos774
shadowkratos774

I'm sad he's leaving, but maybe an opportunity that he's been waiting for opened up, I mean helping SONY move 6 million consoles this fast is a hell of a thing to put on your resume.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

I will miss him at the E3 press conferences. Every E3 he was the person talking about PlayStation. 

GrenadeLauncher
GrenadeLauncher

Ending his career at SCEA on a high note. Good for him.


In after salty Xbots begging MS to hire him/cooking up conspiracy theories.

tommynj
tommynj

Sony still losing money and probably will be bankrupt by the end of the year. The guy is probably just cashing in before the Titanic sinks. Sony had a good short term run for the PS4 but the party is just about over for them.

jameston80
jameston80

probably gonna go work for Nintendo now, lol cause Microsoft doesn't want that slithering snake

sanchango
sanchango

@Penguinlord1  ^see this comment shows how PS4 sucks!! XBONE FOR LIFE!!!! #XBONEMASTERRACE
(I hope people know I'm joking...)

tjkraz
tjkraz

@XIntoTheBlue  I dunno.  His statement was very generic.  Usually when people leave of their own accord, it's because they have something else lined up.  He didn't even fall back on "I want to spend more time with my family."  


To me, it sounds like a negotiation gone bad.  Anytime you draw a line in the sand, you do have to be prepared to walk away...even if reluctantly.  That's what this sounds like.  Tretton just oversaw a successful console launch.  Given Sony's financial woes, they probably asked him to take a pay cut.  


He will have many other opportunities available to him with other companies.  However, it seems pretty clear he was negotiating to stay at Sony, but the two parties couldn't come to terms.   

thefinalzapkeet
thefinalzapkeet

@gam3r80 The same thing happens when there's an article about the Xbox one. a bunch of sony ponies come in to bash the X1


I have all three consoles and love them, so you just learn to tune the people out who seem to think that their console is objectively superior to the other. The X1 and PS4 and even Wii U are all amazing consoles


At any rate, back on topic, hope the guy ends up doing everything he wants to in life and good luck to him. The video game industry will be lesser without him

blackmagica
blackmagica

@tommynjIf i bought an x1, i wouldn't even think about posting a comment about Sony...lmfao, loser!

mattress805
mattress805

Xbox 720p. +. Krapnect. Redefining how you watch cable TV.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@tommynj  Garrus, are you butthurt that your first adventure didn't stay xbox exclusive forever?

MetaMods
MetaMods

@tommynj  please take economic class before you stated something not even true

Syphon_Filter2
Syphon_Filter2

@tommynj  There have been some stupid people in 2014 but like you never. You should noted the best and the most stupidest person of 2014 among the rest!

tigress666
tigress666

@tjkraz @XIntoTheBlueThat's what it sounds like to me too. He wanted more money than Sony was willing or could give him and he felt he was better off going elsewhere. It sounds like it wasn't like there was much bitter feelings about it, just both Sony and Tretton deciding that it just wasn't going to work.

(Though the thing with Henning and Naughty Dog I do think that there were hard feelings there. It's interesting she has said nothing and ND's disclaimers dance around whether she was fired, just that two other famous people of their's didn't do it).

mattress805
mattress805

You do know that the Xbone is in 3rd place this gen right? Behind the WiiU. That's pitiful. They're not even outselling the ps4 in the US or the UK.

mattress805
mattress805

Xbone is in 3rd place behind the WiiU this gen. That's just pitiful!! Ha ha

Barighm
Barighm

@Syphon_Filter2 @tommynjActually, he's right. Sony will probably be bankrupt soon, if they're not already. Won't mean a thing to the Playstation division though.

tjkraz
tjkraz

@tigress666 @tjkraz @XIntoTheBlue  It's hard to accurately assess "feelings" from a distance.  Tretton must have been respected within the company and he probably amassed a decent compensation package along the way.  Now, if they asked him to take a pay cut due to Sony's corporate woes, he may have been caught between loyalty to Sony, an ego that says "you shouldn't have to take less", and the possibility that he can hook-on with another company for equal or more money.  


The wording of his public statement leads me to believe he's at least saddened they couldn't come to an agreement.  This doesn't look like a situation where he jumped at any excuse to leave.