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Jack Tretton steps down as CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America

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Jack Tretton is leaving his role as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, the company announced today, the "result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship."

Tretton, pictured above with Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, will be replaced by Shawn Layden, currently executive vice president and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International, on April 1.

"Working at SCEA for the past 19 years has been the most rewarding experience of my career," said Tretton in a release. "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."

Tretton has been with SCEA since its inception in 1995, helping to launch the original PlayStation through to the PlayStation 4 last year in North America. The outgoing president and CEO presented Sony's E3 press conferences from 2007 to 2013.

"I've worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he's made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors," said House in a statement. "I also want to welcome Shawn to the Sony Computer Entertainment America team. I have the utmost confidence in Shawn's leadership capabilities, and his deep knowledge of the gaming industry and commitment to gamers, will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay."

Layden has been with Sony's PlayStation group for 15 years, and was one of the founding members of SNEI and formerly president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. His career at Sony also included eight years at SCE Worldwide Studios, where he directed international software development.

Tretton wrote a farewell letter on the PlayStation blog, addressing the "PlayStation Nation" on the news of his departure from SCEA.

It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that I will be stepping down as President and CEO of SCEA effective March 31, 2014. This is a result of a mutual agreement with SCEA, and I leave knowing that the PlayStation brand has never been stronger, PlayStation 4 momentum continues to accelerate, and the future will only get brighter for our gamers.

Serving PlayStation fans for the past 19 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Your passion for gaming inspired me every day.

I want to thank you for constantly pushing PlayStation to deliver breakthrough gaming and entertainment experiences, and to never settle for "good enough." The embodiment of this commitment can be found in the PS4, which has quickly become the #1 next-gen console worldwide...thanks to you.

We've shared many memories over the past two decades and I'll always be grateful for your support.