Shawn Layden, who's been with Sony Interactive Entertainment for 32 years, is suddenly departing.
The official PlayStation Twitter account announced overnight that Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden is leaving Sony and PlayStation behind. The surprising tweet didn't mention any details about this seemingly sudden move.
The company also did not name a successor, which is fairly uncommon when such big positions go vacant.
"It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE," the announcement reads. "His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!"
It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 30, 2019
Layden is mostly known as being the public face of the North American arm of Sony, having served as CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. When the company consolidated its different divisions worldwide under the new Sony Interactive Entertainment banner in 2016, Layden took on the role of managaing Sony's massive network of studios as Worldwide Studios chairman.
More recently, Layden oversaw the birth of PlayStation Productions, a new division tasked with adapting Sony video game franchises for film and television.
With such an impressive CV, Layden could have gone anywhere. It is a bit strange, however, that he's yet to offer the larger PlayStation community a few words before departing. His verified Twitter account, for instance, has no mention of the news.
The timing of this is certainly interesting, too, as we're about a year away from the launch of a new generation. Regardless, Layden is among the friendliest faces in our industry and will be missed.