BREAKING NEWS: Phil Harrison to Leave SCE

After 15 years at the company, its been confirmed that Phil Harrison, head of the worldwide studios at Sony Computer Entertainment, will be leaving the company as of this Friday (February 29th)

Whats caused this departure we dont know, but it may have something to do with recent comments Harrison made concerning SCE Japan and how they aren’t recognising social stuff coming to the PS3 such as Singstar, Buzz or PlayStation Home, the latter project of which Harrison had a big part to play in.

Kaz “RIIIIIIDDDDDGE RACER!!!” Hirai will take over his job but we also dont know if this is just until a replacement is found or if he will manage his job as head of SCE Worldwide studios as well as the postition of the chief CEO of SCEI, the position he took after Ken Kutaragi left.

Full press release:

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that Phil Harrison, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS), will resign from Sony Computer Entertainment Group as of February 29, 2008. Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO of SCEI, will immediately assume responsibilities as president of SCE WWS, in addition to his current duties.

Prior to the launch of the original PlayStation®, Phil Harrison joined Sony Electronics Publishing, Ltd. in 1992, which later evolved into Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and since then, he has made a tremendous contribution to the company playing a strategic role in the launch of four PlayStation platforms, as well as building strong relationships with game developers and publishers throughout the world. Since his appointment to the position of president, SCE WWS, Harrison applied his considerable skill, knowledge and expertise to lead SCE Group’s first party game development as well as aggressively pursuing the development of new online entertainment experiences.

“As one of the founding members of SCE, Phil played a key role in the development and growth of the PlayStation business and our industry,” said Kazuo Hirai. “It is sad to see him departing from SCE, but I wish to express my gratitude for his many invaluable contributions and also wish Phil the very best of luck in his future endeavors.”

“The past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far,” said Phil Harrison. “I am grateful to all the PlayStation family for their incredible support, guidance and friendship. It has been a privilege to serve as part of the team and be inspired by them on a daily basis. I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can.”

And now its rumored that Harrison will…you may wanna sit down for this…be going to Atari. Yes, shock horror.

Stil, thanks for the memorys Phil. You were great =(