Shake-up At Sony: PlayStation Inventor Retires, Kaz Hirai Becomes Chairman Of Sony Computer Entertainment

Following the security breach in the PlayStation network in April (77 million PlayStation Network user accounts were compromised), Sony saw a radical management reshuffle in its gaming division, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI), today. As you could expect, big S denies a connection between both incidents, but today’s decision probably doesn’t surprise anyone.

So what will happen? On September 1, Kaz Hirai, the current President and group CEO of SCEI, will take on the role of Chairman of Sony’s video gaming division. At the same time, Hirai’s position will be taken over by Andrew House, who is currently President, CEO and Co-COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE).

In March, Sony boss Howard Stringer called Hirai the “leading candidate” for the job as the company’s next CEO. Sony also announced that one day before Hirai becomes Chairman of SCEI, Akira Sato, the current Chairman and one of the founding members of the video gaming unit, will step down.

What’s also interesting is that Ken Kutaragi, legendary father of the PlayStation, retired from his role as Honorary Chairman of SCEI to become a “senior technology adviser” of Sony proper – effective as early as today (Kutaragi is also a former Chairman and chief executive officer of SCEI).

In the months to come, the new SCEI team will have to manage the aftermath of the security breach from this spring, the launch of the PSP successor Vita, and the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U as a new PS3 competitor, among other things.