The head of Sony Corp.'s Sony Network Entertainment International unit, Tim Schaaff, will step down at the end of the year, with Andy House taking on oversight of Sony's online platforms, which Schaaff has overseen, the company said Thursday.
Schaff, who was originally hired away from Apple in 2005, was tasked with unifying Sony's Entertainment experience across the company's platforms and also oversaw the launch of Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service -- a music subscription service which included online music, gaming, and video services.
Sony described House's promotion as a "transition." A spokesperson for the company declined to provide details on how long the transition period would be. Amid expectations of possible further executive changes, the spokesman also declined to comment on possible further management reshuffles at the struggling entertainment to electronics group.
House, who took over Sony CEO Kaz Hirai's roles of president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) last September, will assume Schaaff's duties starting in January, in addition to his current responsibilities.
Upon his 2005 hire, Businessweek called him the company's "renaissance geek" and was assigned by former CEO Howard Stringer to deliver a unified entertainment experience across the company's hardware devices and looking for ways in which the consumer electronics operations could co-operate with Sony's movie, music and video games units. He then became president of Sony Network Entertainment in 2010.
Although Schaaff was at the helm of SNEI during the hacking and data leakage incidents on the PlayStation Network in April last year, Sony says the move came at the executive's own request.
Schaaff will continue to act as an external director at SNEI.