Who is outgoing Sony gaming chief Jim Ryan?

Jim Ryan, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company behind the PlayStation games console, has announced his impending retirement

Jim Ryan, the man at the helm of Sony’s gaming division, is set to step down after spending almost 30 years with the company. 

Ryan joined Sony just a few months before the launch of the PlayStation, in 1994, and went on to assume a host of senior positions. He became President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) in 2019. 

In his resignation letter addressed to the PlayStation community, Ryan said his decision to retire in 2024 had not been taken lightly, but revealed he had been struggling to “strike the right balance” between his home in the UK and job in the US, where SIE is headquartered. 

“I feel humbled at having the opportunity to lead a company delivering products that touch millions of lives,” Ryan wrote. “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 SIE.

“From my beginning in Europe, it was clear that Sony had built something truly special. Generations later I am still amazed by the excitement and passion of the PlayStation community.

“It is thanks to you that we have been able to keep innovating and delivering even greater experiences. Since 1994, generations of gamers have inspired us to be better, to push the boundaries, and the results have been incredible. 

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Hiroki Totoki, who serves as President, COO and CFO at Sony, will replace Ryan as CEO of SIE on an interim basis from April 2024, while also continuing his existing responsibilities.

SIE is Sony's gaming division. Picture: Sony

How Jim Ryan climbed Sony’s corporate ladder

Jim Ryan’s journey with Sony began 29 years ago when he joined Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE).

Sony was, at the time, on the cusp of launching the game-changing PlayStation to rival the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn, and it was subsequently released to critical acclaim in December 1994. 

In the ensuing years, Ryan climbed the corporate ladder to take up roles including President of SIEE, Head of Global Sales and Marketing at SIE and Deputy President of SIE. Then, in 2019, he replaced John Kodera as President and CEO of thegaming division. 

Ryan was lauded for his instrumental role in the successful launch of the PlayStation 5 during the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming crippling supply problems which had left gamers frustrated. However, with those issues resolved, the PS5 has achieved impressive sales figures and remains way out in front of its big rival, the Xbox Series X from Microsoft.

“Jim has been an inspirational leader throughout his entire period with us, but never more so than in overseeing the launch of PlayStation 5 in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” added Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman and CEO of Sony Group Corporation.

Sony Interactive Entertainment's headquarters in Silicon Valley. Picture: Sony

“Respecting Jim’s decision to finish his long career at Sony leaves me with an important decision regarding his succession given the significance of the Game & Network Services business. We have discussed intensively and have determined the new management structure.

“We aim to achieve Sony Group’s further evolution and growth through bringing even greater success to the business.”


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