Xbox lead Phil Spencer comments on PlayStation's Jim Ryan retiring in March 2024

Jim Ryan during the PlayStation Showcase 2023
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

What you need to know

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan is stepping down.
  • Ryan will continue to work as CEO through March 2024, where he will be replaced with Sony president and CFO Hiroki Totoki. 
  • Totoki will act as interim Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO until a successor is chosen. 

There's some big news from the world of PlayStation. 

Sony shared on Wednesday that Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is retiring. Ryan will be stepping down from his role in the company in March 2024 after almost 30 years at Sony.

"I did not take this decision lightly and I absolutely love SIE and our community, but of late I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to strike the right balance between having my home in the UK and my job in the United States," Ryan explains in a note to the PlayStation community. 

"I feel humbled at having the opportunity to lead a company delivering products that touch millions of lives," Ryan adds. "From award-winning games to the incredibly immersive technical achievements delivered with PlayStation 5, I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved and very optimistic for the future of Sony Interactive Entertainment."

Under Ryan, the PS5 has sold extremely well. (Image credit: Sony)

In April 2024, Ryan will be replaced with Sony president and CFO Hiroki Totoki, who will assume the role of interim Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO "to help define the next chapter of PlayStation’s future, including the succession of the SIE CEO role."

Under Ryan, sales of the PlayStation 5 have flourished, while PlayStation Studios has grown exponentially with the addition of Nixxes Software, Bluepoint Games, Housemarque, and others. Ryan also oversaw the addition of Bungie to Sony Interactive Entertainment in a $3.6 billion purchase. 

Ryan will also be remembered for a number of controversial statements made during his career, from the oft-memed "Why would anybody play this?" in regards to older Gran Turismo titles (which he later admitted regretting) to less-amusing comments made when Roe vs. Wade was overturned in the U.S. and he asked employees to "respect differences of opinion" on the situation before discussing his cats.

In the last year of his career at PlayStation, Ryan also played a key role in working to delay and derail Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, including providing comments during the Microsoft vs. FTC hearing back in June 2023.

"Jim Ryan has been a great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation," said Microsoft Gaming CEO and head of Xbox Phil Spencer, responding to the news on Twitter. "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."

Analysis: Leaving at the top?

Ryan is leaving at an interesting point, and naturally I'm very curious if there's anything else going on that would cause this decision to be made. 

Still, there can be no denying Ryan is leaving at the height of his career. He oversaw much of PlayStation's success in Europe, a key factor in his being promoted to Sony Interactive CEO in 2019, when he replaced John Kodera.

I'm most interested in who is up next past the interim period for the role of Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO. The smart money is on current PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst, but then who would be in charge of PlayStation Studios? Perhaps Ted Price at Insomniac Games?

We'll have to wait and see. Good, bad, everything in-between, Ryan leaving represents the end of an era for PlayStation. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • fdruid
    Wow, this is big news.
    Will Sony stop being absolute jerks about their business now Ryan is gone or is it a company wide strategy?
    Also they might become more welcome to adopt current technologies and partnerships, they've been running it veey out of the times.

    This might be the whole industry. Less jerks in positions of power.