Wed, Oct 04, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Sony appoints Kodera as new head of PlayStation

Bloomberg

Sony Corp promoted John Kodera as the new head of PlayStation, the electronic giant’s most important division and largest growth driver.

Kodera, who has primarily worked on the PlayStation Network online service, is to take over as CEO at subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment, replacing Andrew House, who ran the unit since 2011.

House is to remain as chairman through the end of the year and then pursue what he called “new challenges” outside of Sony, without elaborating in detail.

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 heading toward the end of its life cycle, analysts are starting to question what comes next.

Kodera’s efforts to add non-gaming content to the PlayStation Network show that Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai sees the addition of TV shows, movies and music as one way to ease the earnings volatility between console life cycles.

“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, the PlayStation Network generated the majority of the games division’s revenue for the first time, as online subscriptions and digital downloads outweighed hardware sales.

Kodera, 47, has worked on the PlayStation Network since 2010, launching TV service Vue, game streaming platform Now and a partnership with Spotify Ltd to bring more non-gaming content to the network’s 70 million users.

Prior to that, he worked in the company’s audio and PC businesses. He joined Sony in 1992.

“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,” Kodera said.

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