Sony Interactive System CEO Andrew House will step down from the CEO role after heading the unit for almost seven years. John Kodera, who has been associated with the online service PlayStation Network, will replace him as the head of the PlayStation.
Andrew House will continue to work at Sony as chairman through the end of the year, and thereafter, pursue “new challenges” outside Sony. House, who joined Sony in 1990, was working in Sony’s marketing and communications department when the first PlayStation console was launched. After working for years in Sony Computer Entertainment, House was appointed as the CEO of SCE back in 2011.
At the time, Sony was coming off a disappointing PS3 run and a hacking incident that closed the PlayStation Network for about a month. House readily accepted the challenge, and made Sony Interactive Entertainment as the world knows it today. Andrew House has been closely related to the strategies that have lifted PlayStation 4’s development and launch. He can also be credited with the development and launch of the PlayStation VR headset.
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In a statement, House said, “I’m tremendously proud of what we’ve built with PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment.”
Further, he said that PlayStation had been a huge part of his life for more than 20 years, and since the business reached record-breaking success, it is the right time to pursue new challenges. Sony expects the console to sell over 78 million units by the end of the year, making it the fastest growing platform in the company’s history.
House’s departure comes at a critical time as Sony’s shares are trading at nine-year highs with investors expecting games to fuel the growth. However, analysts have now begun to question the company over their plans as PlayStation 4 approaches the end of its lifecycle.
Hinting at what is expected from Kodera, Sony chief Kazuo Hirai sees the addition of the TV shows, music and movies as one of the ways to recede the volatility between the launch of two consoles. In a statement, Hirai said that John had guided Sony’s network service business since 2013, and played a pivotal role in the growth of the company.
“With the significance of network services increasing across the entire Sony Group, I believe that John is ideally equipped to build on the foundations Andy has left in place,” Hirai said.
Just like House, Kodera is also a Sony veteran, and he joined the organization back in 1992. He has been looking after the PlayStation Network since 2010, and played a significant role in launching the TV service Vue, game-streaming platform Now, and a partnership with Spotify to transfer non-gaming content to the base of 70 million users, notes Bloomberg.
Kodera, in a statement said, he is looking to take forward where House left off and enhance the PlayStation brand, and expand the game, as well as, network service business. He further said that the company will work towards strengthening the unique value proposition offered via the PlayStation platform.
On Monday, Sony shares closed down 0.05% at $37.32. Year to date, the stock is up over 33%, while in the last one-year, it is up over 12%.