Jack Tretton will step down as Sony Computer Entertainment CEO as of March 31, the company has announced.
Tretton's departure comes as the "result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship", according to the official press release. He will be replaced by the current exec VP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, Shawn Layden, effective April 1.
"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," said Tretton. "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."
Tretton joined Sony in 1995 when he became one of the founding execs of the firm's PlayStation division. The exec has led Sony Computer Entertainment's American division through five hardware launches, including the four home consoles, PSP and Vita, as well as the launch of the PlayStation Network service.
Tretton has also long been a prominent face of PlayStation, having made regular appearances on stage at major conferences including the massively spectated E3 press briefings.
Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House said, "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 went on, "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."
Tretton's replacement, Layden (pictured right), has been with PlayStation for 15 years, including eight years as director of international software development at SCE Worldwide Studios in London and a stint as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. In his most recent post, Layden was among the founding members of SNEI in 2010.
"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," commented Layden in the announcement.
"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," he added.