SCEI Announces New Management Team, Kazuo Hirai Becomes Chairman

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Kazuo Hirai becomes Chairman and Andrew House is named President and Group CEO

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. [SCEI] today announced the appointment of Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, as Chairman, and Andrew House, President, CEO and Co-COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), as President and Group CEO of SCEI, effective as of September 1, 2011.

The company also announced the retirement of Akira Sato, Chairman, effective August 31, 2011. It was also announced that as of June 28, Ken Kutaragi has retired from his role as Honorary Chairman of SCEI, although he will continue in his role as senior technology adviser of Sony Corporation.

House commented: “Since returning to SCE two years ago, I have focused on further expanding our business in the European/PAL territories and regaining our market leadership there. It is both an honour and a privilege to be named as president and Group CEO at SCEI. I believe there is huge potential for further growth of our business globally, and I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the SCE Group and with other groups in Sony to help achieve this potential by pursuing the creation of brand new user experiences.”

House has been with Sony since 1990 and the launch of the original PlayStation

House joined Sony Corporation in 1990, where he worked in corporate communications for five years. In April 1995, he was transferred to SCEI and assigned to the marketing and communications division, where he made a significant contribution in successfully launching the original PlayStation® computer entertainment system and its business during its early stages. In March 1996, House was promoted to Vice President, Marketing of Sony Computer Entertainment America, where he led SCEA’s efforts to establish the North American market for the original PlayStation as well as formulating and executing the market strategies which led to the successful launch of the PlayStation®2 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) businesses. House was also instrumental in developing the PlayStation brand into a household name in North America. In addition to his marketing responsibilities, he also led the Third Party Relations from 2000, as well as Developer Support from 2003, making sizeable contributions in establishing and maintaining firm relationships with third party game developers and publishers in North America as well as growing content alliances.

Acknowledged for his invaluable contribution to the expansion of the PlayStation business and to the company’s marketing and brand management efforts, House was appointed CMO of Sony Corporation in 2005, with global responsibility for corporate marketing across all of Sony’s businesses with primary emphasis in building value in the Sony brand. During his tenure, House led the effort to establish Sony’s new group brand message, “make.believe”.

“In fiscal 2010, we achieved profitability for the first time in five years as a result of group-wide united efforts, including continuous cost reduction for PS3 in which I first took the initiative after assuming president of SCEI in December 2006,” said Hirai. “We are facing new challenges this year, such as the successful launch of PlayStation Vita and further growth of PS3 platform as well as expansion of non-gaming business. I’m confident that the skills and expertise Andy has gained over two decades working for Sony and SCE Group will contribute enormously in leading the PlayStation business and to bring new initiatives in managing the business in the networked era.”

Let’s hope that with these new management changes the PlayStation brand will have a successful future and continue to bring its fans a quality product.

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Oliver Somervell

Oliver Somervell

Ollie Somervell,24, Born and bred in England Journalism & Film Studies undergrad Gaming since the days of NES and Master System/Genesis Massive RPG, FPS & Arcade Gamer