He’s best known for a wonky camera and a few greatly exaggerated quotes about backwards compatibility, but PlayStation Europe veteran Jim Ryan is the new President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, effective from 1st April. In response to the “relentlessly fast-moving” video game market, incumbent gaffer John Kodera has decided to step down from his current role to Representative Director and Deputy President – but there’s a bit more to the management restructuring than that.
Effectively, Kodera – who was always billed as a network maestro – will focus his efforts on the PlayStation Network, while Ryan will commandeer the rest of the business. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida explained: “I believe that this new structure – where Jim will manage SIE's overall organisation and operations, and which will allow John to focus on the key mission to further develop PSN that has now grown into an immensely large platform with over 90 million monthly active users worldwide – will enable SIE to accelerate its innovation and evolution even further.”
This is quite a selfless move from Kodera, who clearly feels that his focus will be better dedicated to the services side of the business. “As a result, we have concluded that the best direction is for Jim to take the helm of the overall management of SIE, and for me to spearhead the network area to continue creating innovative services and experiences, where competition continues to intensify with many new players joining the business,” he explained. “Jim has extensive knowledge around the game business and industry, as well as deep understanding of the PlayStation culture and strengths.”
As for Ryan, while he’s not the most popular personality among core gamers for some off-the-cuff comments in the past, he’s been with PlayStation since 1994, and is one of the people responsible for the brand’s utter dominance across Europe. “Working with John and the SIE team around the world, I am committed to strengthening relations with our business partners, and to continuing to provide the ultimate interactive entertainment experiences that make PlayStation the best place to play,” he beamed.
Our view? This makes a lot of sense, even if it is pretty crazy of Kodera to effectively demote himself in order to place his focus on an important part of the business. There’s absolutely no doubt that PSN is becoming something of a cash cow for Sony, and with competition intense then it needs a steady hand. Kodera was promoted to the top position because of his deep understanding of the networking stuff, so with Ryan taking command of the day-to-day tasks, he will now be able to focus on his area of expertise.