End of an era: PlayStation Worldwide Studios boss Shawn Layden is departing SIE

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

It’s an end of an era for PlayStation as Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden is leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment.

In shocking news this evening, it was announced that PlayStation Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden is “departing” Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The announcement came via a tweet from the official PlayStation  account, wishing him “success in future endeavors.” It’s unknown what these future endeavors might be or why he is leaving the company.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Layden has been with Sony for over three decades. He started in SOny’s corporate communications department in 1987 as the Communications Assistant for Sony co-founder Akio Morita. He rose through the company ranks and in 1999 became Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. He continued to move through various positions at the executive level and was even one of the founding members of Sony Network Entertainment International.

But it was probably in 2014 when the mainstream PlayStation fanbase really got to know Shawn Layden. That was when he became President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (now known as Sony Interactive Entertainment America), succeeding Jack Tretton after Sony opted not to renew his contract. That was when Layden really became the face of PlayStation, participating in the company’s E3 press conferences from 2014 to 2018.

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In April of 2018, SIE announced an organizational transformation that saw Layden’s focus shift solely on Worldwide Studios “to provide platform-defining content that helps drive the growth of SIE.”

While Jack Tretton was the man in charge during the development and launch of the PlayStation 4, Layden, and his vision for the PlayStation brand, has played a huge role in the console’s continued success. He’s also likely had a huge influence on the development of the PlayStation 5, which has yet to be officially announced. Layden’s most recent achievement was the purchase of developer Insomniac Games (Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ratchet & Clanks).

Sony has yet to offer any additional information regarding the executive shakeup and Layden hasn’t announced anything on his personal social media accounts.