PlayStation Worldwide Studios announced via Twitter that its longtime head Shawn Layden is leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). Although no reason was stated for the departure, the company paid tribute to Layden’s 32 years of service.
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
Layden joined PlayStation since 1987, starting in public relations before becoming the face of the company’s E3 press conferences as the head of Sony Computer Entertainment America. He was put in charge of worldwide game development in March 2018.
Games that have launched under Layden’s leadership include Detroit: Become Human, God of War, and Days Gone. His most recent achievements include the acquisition of Insomniac Games, maker of Marvel’s Spider-man, turning it into a first-party studio. Upcoming games include Death Stranding, which is scheduled to release in November.
The suddenness and timing of the departure is bound to raise questions, especially as Sony prepares to officially announce and launch the PlayStation 5. But Sony isn’t providing any more details at this time and Layden’s successor has not yet been named.