Earlier this year, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime left the company after many years at his post, and now, PlayStation has suffered a similar blow. Sony announced via Twitter that Shawn Layden, Chairman of Sony Worldwide Studios – the umbrella under which all of their first party studios fall – has left Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The tweet making the announcement noted that “his visionary leadership will be greatly missed”, but did not go into the reasons for his departure, nor has an announcement been made for who will be replacing Layden at his post.
Under Layden’s leadership since 2014, Sony’s first party has seen a meteoric rise. Building on the narrative-focused single player experiences that Sony found success with with the likes of Uncharted and The Last of Us late last gen, the last few years have seen Sony Worldwide Studios’ lineup delivering similar products, with Horizon: Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games, God of War from SIE Santa Monica, and Spider-Man from Insomniac Games (who recently joined the Sony WWS portfolio).
It remains to be seen how Sony operates in the coming years without Layden in charge.
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