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Sony PlayStation inventor retires from executive post

Posted: 30 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SCEI Ken Kutaragi PS3? Ken Katuragi SCEI management transition? Ken Katuragi PlayStation 3? PS3?

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) and Sony Corp. announced last week that Ken Kutaragi, SCEI representative director, chairman and group CEO, will retire from his executive post effective June 19, 2007.

Stepping back from his executive management responsibility to the company, Kutaragi will serve as Honorary Chairman of SCEI. He will also continue to support Howard Stringer, Sony chairman and CEO, as senior technology advisor.

Concurrently, Kazuo Hirai, current SCEI president and group COO, will be promoted to president and group CEO, while continuing his responsibility as the leader of the PlayStation business worldwide.

Kutaragi, known as the "Father of PlayStation", invented and launched the original PlayStation (PS) in 1994 and its successor, PlayStation 2 (PS2), in 2000. The introduction of these platforms has opened up a vast market in the computer entertainment segment. The two platforms now have an installed base of over 200 million units in homes globally, with over 2 billion units of PS and PS2 software titles shipped, according to Sony. The third generation device dubbed PlayStation 3 (PS3) was launched in November 2006 in Japan and North America and in March 2007 in Europe.

After completing the worldwide launch of PS3, Kutaragi has decided to pursue his dreams beyond PlayStation and to accelerate his network vision.

"I am happy to graduate from SCEI after introducing four platforms to the PlayStation family," said Kutaragi. "It has been an exciting experience to change the world of computer entertainment by marrying cutting edge technologies with creative minds. I'm looking forward to building on this vision in my next endeavors."

Comments Stringer, "Ken Kutaragi is a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure. Not only has he created a multibillion dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension...As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him. My support also goes to Kazuo Hirai, who is a terrific executive with a proven track record with PlayStation business in the U.S. I am confident that he will inspire and lead SCEI to new heights."

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