4 Votes | Average: 2.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 2.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 2.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 2.75 out of 54 Votes | Average: 2.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5) Loading ... Loading ...

by Mike Zazaian November 30, 2006 - 4:19pm, 1 Comment

Sony CEO and President Ken Kutaragi

Following myriad delays and shortages for the Playstation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Ken Kutaragi has effectively been relegated to a less hands-on role.

The powers that be at Sony have elected to relegate Kutaragi, who has overseen production of the Playstation 3 over the past few years, to a less active Chairman position in Sony’s Computer Entertainment (SCE) Division. Kaz Hirai, chairman of Sony’s Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) division, will assume Kutaragi’s duties as President of SCE in Tokyo. Hirai will be replaced by SCEA Co-Chief Operating Officer Jack Tretton, whom will in turn be replaced by chain of Sony employees until the kid they hired last week in the mail room at SCEA will be promoted to assistant to the manager of large-to-medium-sized parcels.

While Sony hasn’t described Kutaragi’s new position as a demotion per se, the company certainly isn’t moving him off of the Playstation 3 project because they’re thrilled with his performance. In addition to holding the title for the highest cost amongst next-generation consoles, Sony produced only one-tenth the amount of consoles Nintendo for their respective releases. Nintendo made four million Wii consoles available to consumers worldwide for the release in mid-November, while Sony pushed only 400,000 Playstation 3 consoles off the assembly line.

Kutaragi will focus on overseeing the entire operation rather than day-to-day business, said Nanako Kato, a spokeswoman for SCE. His position at the top of the management doesn’t change.

Though Ken Kutaragi may have faltered with the Playstation 3 a bit, getting caught up in the processor and GPU wars with Microsoft, he still hasn’t been put out to pasture. Kutaragi has been with Sony from the Playstation get-go, having lead the team that developed the original Playstation console, ultimately netting Sony the largest piece of a $20 billion industry. While Sony may be looking for younger, fresher talent in Hirai to restore the snap, crackle and pop to the Playstation brand, Kutaragi will still lurk in the background, assessing the bigger picture for SCE. Granted, he’s no longer pushing all of the buttons on the SCE division (no pun intended), but with all the effort he’s put into developing the Playstation lineage over the past decade there’s no shame in stepping to the side.

Via Joystiq
Check out Bloomberg
Another bit from Engadget
The Press Release from Sony