Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Strengthens Organization With Promotion of Key Top Executives

Company Readies for Further Market Expansion With New Management Structure


Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. today announced strategic organizational changes and executive promotions designed to strengthen its North American operation and reinforce the company's commanding market leadership position in the burgeoning computer entertainment industry. Kaz Hirai, the company's president and chief operating officer, said the new executive appointments, effective immediately, are designed to accelerate a wide range of business objectives including the evolution of PlayStation®2 as a broadband-based entertainment delivery medium.

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Andrew House and Jack Tretton have been promoted to the position of executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. Reporting directly to Hirai, both have been instrumental in the development and continued success of the PlayStation business in North America, and are key members of the organization's management team. As part of their new responsibilities, House and Tretton have also been appointed to serve as Corporate Executive Officers of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Formerly senior vice president, House is responsible for all facets of the company's marketing efforts in North America and the day-to-day management of Sony Computer Entertainment America's extensive third party program that includes licensee relations, product planning and strategic relationships.

Tretton, previously holding the position of senior vice president, oversees all sales and channel relations in the United States, Canada and Latin America. In addition to his current role, Tretton will assume responsibility for Sony Computer Entertainment America's first party product development operation lead by Shuhei Yoshida. Under Yoshida's direction the company has built one of the finest internal development studios of any platform holder with original PlayStation 2 franchise properties to its credit, such as Twisted Metal: Black™, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy™, and its first online title for PlayStation 2, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs scheduled for release on August 27 in conjunction with the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/Analog) (for PlayStation 2). In an effort to further define and build upon this success, Yoshida will now report to Tretton.

Bringing more than 25 years of financial management experience to his position, Jim Bass was named chief financial officer. Bass was appointed to vice president, finance, Sony Computer Entertainment America in November 1996, and is responsible for overseeing all of the company's accounting and financial operations including treasury and risk management, purchasing, and federal, state and local income taxes. Bass will continue to report to Hirai.

Masayuki Chatani, currently vice president, business and technology, Sony Computer Entertainment America, assumes a dual role in the global organization with his appointment as senior vice president of the newly founded Broadband Strategy Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Chatani, a 15-year Sony veteran, will now serve as the leader of the division in charge of defining the company's global broadband strategies including the development and distribution of new network content, entertainment and services via PlayStation 2. His new responsibilities also include the evolution of Sony Computer Entertainment's alliances with various network business partners such as America Online and RealNetworks. In this new role, Chatani reports directly to Ken Kutaragi, president and chief executive officer, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Chatani retains his current responsibilities for Sony Computer Entertainment America's technology and business creation efforts in North America, reporting to Hirai in this capacity.

With more than 16 years of management experience to his credit, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the promotion of Steve Ross to senior vice president. Formerly vice president, operations, Ross leads all of the company's operational activities including product planning and distribution, consumer and product services, information technology, human resources, security and facilities management. Ross will continue to report to Hirai.

Riley Russell, formerly vice president, legal and business affairs, Sony Computer Entertainment America, assumed the position of General Counsel as part of the new organizational alignment. In addition to these responsibilities, Russell is a member of several organizations including the California and American Bar Associations, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the Public Policy Committee and the Piracy Committee for the Interactive Digital Software Association, as well as the Ratings Committee for the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Russell will continue to report to Hirai.

"The Sony Computer Entertainment America executives being promoted today, whose considerable talents enabled us to remain the market leader for the seven years this company has been in existence, have each played a fundamental role in creating and establishing the PlayStation business in North America," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "Those same talents are being called upon again to help move our business into the broadband era, requiring a shift in focus on how our industry defines entertainment, leadership and innovation. Our management team is now stronger than ever before."

About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

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