Jim Ryan, who has been running Sony’s gaming business since 2019, has announced his retirement from the Japanese company. Let’s take a look back at his career journey and key achievements.
In a press release on September 27, Sony announced that Jim Ryan will retire in March 2024. Speaking about the reasons, the 63-year-old executive noted that it has become difficult for him over the years to “reconcile living in Europe and working in North America.”
I will leave having been privileged to work on products that have touched millions of lives across the world; PlayStation will always be part of my life, and I feel more optimistic than ever about the future of SIE. I want to thank Yoshida-san for placing so much trust in me and being an incredibly sensitive and supportive leader.
SIE president and CEO
Sony Group Corporation president and CFO Hiroki Totoki will support Ryan in his transition and will take on the role of chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) in October. On April 1, 2024 he will become interim CEO of the company’s gaming division, helping Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and the management find Ryan’s successor and define the next chapter of PlayStation.
“The PlayStation business managed by SIE is an essential part of Sony Group’s entire business portfolio,” Totoki said in a statement. “I will work with Jim and the senior management team closely to ensure our continued success and further growth.”
Microsoft Gaming head Phil Spencer has commented on the news, referring to Ryan as a “great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation.” He thanked his fellow competitor and wished him the best in whatever he does next.
Jim Ryan has been a great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation. I wish him the best in what he does next. Thank you for all you’ve done for the community over the last 30 years, Jim.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) September 28, 2023
This marks the end of Jim Ryan’s nearly 30-year run at Sony
- Jim Ryan joined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) in 1994, shortly before the launch of the first PlayStation console.
- “My reason for joining the company back then was simple: I needed a job,” Ryan recalled in a blog post in 2011. “Back then we weren’t called Sony Computer Entertainment, we were called Sony Electronic Publishing Ltd. and PlayStation was still clouded in secrecy.”
- Over the years, Ryan rose to become vice president and co-COO of SCEE. In August 2011, he was named the division’s new president and CEO.
- Ryan then also served as head of global sales and marketing at SIE before taking on the role of its president and CEO. He has been leading Sony’s global gaming division since 2019, with his biggest achievement being the launch of the PlayStation 5.
- Despite initial supply shortages, Sony’s latest console has proven to be successful, reaching 40 million units sold earlier this year.
- Speaking of Jim Ryan’s recent activity, he has established himself as one of the loudest critics of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. He made comments like, “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merger,” trying to convince global regulators to block the $68.7 billion deal.
- Under Ryan’s leadership, Sony completed a $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie and made some other major investments, including the acquisition of a 14% stake in FromSoftware.
- He also was one of the key people behind PlayStation’s new strategy, which includes porting some of its first-party games to PC and significantly increasing investment in live service titles.