the original programmer behind Sonic the Hedgehog and arguably the most influential man at Sega (next to Yu
Suzuki, of course), is rumored to be leaving Sega.
Citing sources "close to Sega," Next Generation claims that the influential leader "is planning to set up his own studio." If true, this action would mirror those of other game industry greats such as Tetsuya Mizuguchi (who founded Q Entertainment) and Hironobu Sakaguchi (who started Mistwalker).
Unfortunately, this kind of rumor is difficult to confirm as you don't know for sure whether someone's leaving a developer until he's actually gone. With all the organizational changes at the company, however (especially since Sammy bought Sega), such a move wouldn't be too surprising. We just hope the next-gen sequels to Sonic are in good hands.