Kutaragi retires from Sony

PlayStation's Dad calls time.

Ken Kutaragi, otherwise known as the 'Father of PlayStation', is to retire from his executive role at Sony Computer Entertainment this June.

He'll hold the title of honorary chairman, though, and he'll be offering handy hints 'n' tips to Sir Howard Stringer - chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation - in his role as senior technology advisor.

Kaz Hirai will remain president, but he's been promoted from group chief operating officer to CEO.

Kutaragi invented the original PlayStation in 1994 and followed up with the PlayStation 2 six years later. According to figures supplied by Sony, the consoles have a combined installed base of more than 200 million and over 2 billion units of PS and PS2 software have been shipped around the globe.

You might think he's packing it in to spend some quality time with his pipe, slippers and favourite golf clubs, but oh no. According to a statement from Sony, "Mr Kutaragi has decided to pursue his dreams beyond PlayStation and to accelerate his network vision".

"I am happy to graduate from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. after introducing four platforms to the PlayStation family," said Kutaragi.

"It has been an exciting experience to change the world of computer entertainment by marrying cutting edge technologies with creative minds from all over the world. Iím looking forward to building on this vision in my next endeavours."

Stringer added, "Ken Kutaragi is a rare combination of a powerful visionary and entrepreneur in one figure. Not only has he created a multi-billion dollar business for the Sony Group, he has brought the industry into a new dimension.

"Sony has benefited tremendously from his vision, his creative genius, and from the very strong team he assembled and nurtured. As Ken moves forward to pursue new opportunities, we will encourage and support him."

Stringer also had some nice words for Kaz Hirai, who he described as "a terrific executive with a proven track record with PlayStation business in the US".

He concluded, "I am confident that he will inspire and lead SCEI to new heights."

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