The chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios, Shawn Layden, is leaving Sony.
Sony did not elaborate on why or when Layden was departing the company, and to date, Layden has not acknowledged his move on any of his public-facing social media channels. PlayStation, however, announced the news earlier today on its official PlayStation twitter account.
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
“It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE,” the tweet said. “His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavours and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”
Joining the company back in 1987, Layden has since served as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, as well as vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. His most recent role of chairman of Sony Worldwide Studios saw him continue to provide “platform-defining content that helps drive the growth of SIE”.
Layden was the first to hint that Sony was softening its stance on cross-play, an issue that has been brought front-and-centre by the launch of Fortnite on Switch, and publicly condemned the so-called “GamerGate” campaign.
In other Sony news, the company recently acquired Insomniac Games, the studio behind the hugely successful PlayStation 4 exclusive, Marvel’s Spider-Man. Sony says the acquisition comes after “a working relationship between Insomniac Games and SIE spanning more than 20 years”, and the new partnership will “enhance the creative force within SIE WWS […] that continues to raise the bar on open world, story-driven games”.