Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced the promotion of Hermen Hulst to head of SIE Worldwide Studios. He will manage the 14 studios that form Worldwide Studios such as Guerilla Games and newly acquired Insomniac Games. In a press release, Jim Ryan said “Hermen is one of the most effective and well-respected leaders in the video game industry. He is a passionate advocate for the teams he leads and understands how to empower creative talent to build great experiences. Worldwide Studios is a critical part of the future success of the company, and we must deliver on the promise we have made to gamers to create imaginative and exciting content that is truly unique to Playstation. I have no doubt that Hermen can lead our teams to deliver compelling and diverse experiences at a steady cadence.” The former head of SIE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, will leave his current position to become head of a new initiative that will focus on external independent creators. He will report directly to Jim Ryan and will ensure that external developers have the tools and technology needed to reach the users of the Playstation ecosystem.
This recent change of positions adds to a growing list of personnel changes and departures from other well-known executives. The biggest unknown is Shawn Layden who was the former SIE Chairman. He left the company abruptly in late September with no press release following his departure. Only a single tweet from the official Playstation Twitter account references his departure from the company. While other personnel have been given press releases such as Gio Corsi (former head of SIE Global Second Party Games), the absence of a formal press release for Shawn Layden sticks out like a sore thumb in comparison. Many rumors and theories have sprouted up since Shawn Layden left SIE with many stating that the split was not amicable. Some say he left for a competing company. Others say that he didn’t fit in the future plans for the Playstation brand. Hopefully, we will find out soon enough. What do you guys think of the recent personnel changes in SIE? Does it worry you or is it business as usual for the company? Comment below and let me know.