Ken Kutaragi, often called the “father of the PlayStation,” said he will step down as chief executive of Sony’s game division on June 19. He will become honorary chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment.
He will be replaced in the CEO spot by Kazuo Hirai, a longtime Sony games exec who is currently the division’s president and chief operating officer.
Kutaragi is a gaming industry legend for his work on the PlayStation. His resignation comes after a very tough couple of years for Sony’s games group. The company delayed the release of the PlayStation 3 by months and cut production shipment goals in half. Only about half a million PS3s have been sold in the U.S. this year, according to data by The NPD Group, compared with 1 million Nintendo Wiis and 721,000 Xbox 360 systems.