Sony has officially announced that John Kodera has stepped down as president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), making way for previous SIE deputy president Jim Ryan to take the position.
Kodera is moving to a position in the company where he will “dedicate his focus on creating innovative user experiences and further enhancing the network area as Deputy President of SIE,” a Sony press statement maintains. Kodera will also be SIE’s representative director.
Like Kodera before him, Ryan will report directly to Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony Corporation.
Yoshida says the management restructuring will allow Kodera to further develop PlayStation Network (PSN), letting SIE “accelerate its innovation and evolution even further.” Kodera is also expected to lead the Sony Group’s DX (Digital Transformation) strategy.
While Sony hasn’t mentioned virtual reality into today’s news, Ryan seems to be a stalwart proponent of the technology. Speaking to the Telegraph at Paris Games Week 2017, Ryan said “we definitely see [VR] as having the potential to be a very significant part of the future of interactive entertainment. Now quite what the horizon is and quite what the rate of pace of adoption is, that’s still a little unclear. But Sony is committed to this and we’re in it for the long haul.”
Talking to Time back in June 2017, Ryan also saw a few important things specific to VR hardware that needs addressing before it achieves true mass market success.
“Technology cycles are shortening, and there’s no reason to expect VR to be any exception to that,” Ryan says. “If we have aspirations to take this into a mass market space, clearly things will need to happen to the form factor, whether it’s wireless or a lighter headset or all of these things.”
Ryan is also known for his unfavorable stance on backwards compatibility, saying in the same interview that the notion simply isn’t worthwhile.
“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan maintains. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
Ryan joined Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE) in 1994. Taking over as SIEE president in 2011, he later moved on to head of global sales and marketing at SIE in April 2016. Ryan has served a deputy president of SIE since January 2018.