Sony Appoints New Head of PlayStation Division
Sony promoted John Kodera as the new head of PlayStation, the electronic giant’s most important division and largest growth driver, according to Bloomberg.
Kodera, who has primarily worked on online service PlayStation Network, will take over as CEO at subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment, replacing Andrew House who ran the unit since 2011. House will remain as chairman through the end of the year and then pursue what he called new challenges outside of Sony.
The appointment comes at a critical time for Sony. Shares are trading close to a nine-year high on expectations games will continue to boost growth, but with the PlayStation 4 console heading toward the end of its lifecycle analysts are starting to question what comes next. Kodera’s efforts to add non-gaming content to the PlayStation Network show that Sony’s chief Kazuo Hirai sees the addition of TV shows, movies and music as one way to ease the earnings volatility between console lifecycles.
“John Kodera has led Sony’s network service business since 2013 and played a pivotal role in its growth,” Hirai said in a statement. “With the significance of network services increasing across the entire Sony Group, I believe that John is ideally equipped to build on the foundations Andy has left in place.”
Games made up 21 percent of Sony’s total revenue last fiscal year and 36 percent of its operating income. During the period, PlayStation Network for the first time generated the majority of the games division’s revenue, as online subscriptions and digital downloads outweighed hardware sales.
"I intend to build on the amazing progress Andy has made enhancing the PlayStation brand and expanding the game and network services business, and will strive to further strengthen the unique value proposition we are able to offer via the PlayStation platform,” said Kodera.
Under House, Sony regained its lead in the gaming industry, with the PS4 outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One by more than three to one. He has also worked on bringing virtual reality to the masses, with the PlayStation VR now the industry-leading high-end headset after selling more than a million units since launching a year ago.