Sony's Ken Kutaragi announces plans to retire

In March, The Wall Street Journal said Ken Kutaragi was a "stumbling block" for Sony; now they're reporting that the controversial chairman and group CEO for Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. -- and father of the PlayStation brand -- will be retiring his post effective June 19. Of course, the 57-year-old exec was recently kicked upstairs, removing him from day-to-day operations following what many considered to be a botched strategy for the PlayStation 3. Kaz Hirai, who replaced Ken in December, will be promoted to CEO of SCE.

And Kaz, you better start practicing. You've got some large shoes to fill ... four-dimensional shoes that require dual HDMI soles to output 120 footprints a second. But seriously, we'll miss your krazy quotes, Ken!

Update -- SCEI statement: "Kutaragi has said that he has been considering this decision for some time. He stated that, in the six months since the appointment of Kazuo Hirai as President in December, the new generation of management, led by Mr. Hirai, has continued to develop. With the March introduction of PS3 in Europe completing the successful launch of PS3 worldwide, Mr. Kutaragi has identified SCE's Annual Shareholders' meeting in June as the ideal timing to pass on the torch to the new generation of management. Mr. Kutaragi will now apply his extensive technological knowledge and leadership skills to take on new challenges beyond the world of PlayStation. Sony and SCE will continue to seek Mr. Kutaragi's input and ideas from a broad perspective, while continuing to support him as much as possible in the realization of his dreams."

Read - PlayStation Creator Plans to Retire (WSJ subscription reqd.)
Read - Kutaragi to step down as Sony game unit CEO (IDG)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.