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Kutaragi officially steps down as Sony chairman and CEO

Ken Kutaragi, known as the "Father of the PlayStation" officially retired Tuesday from his executive position as Chairman and Group CEO.

Ken Kutaragi, known as the 'Father of the PlayStation' officially retired Tuesday from his executive position as Chairman and Group CEO.

Kutaragi championed Sony's entrance into the videogame hardware market following an aborted collaboration with Nintendo on a CD-based add-on for the Nintendo SNES. The PlayStation, released in 1994, went on to sell over 102 million units worldwide.

The PlayStation 2, released in 2000, has sold over 120 million units as of May 2007.

The PlayStation 3, however, suffered from delays and hardware shortages and is struggling against competition from both Nintendo and Microsoft.

In November of 2006, shortly after the PS3's launch, Sony announced that Kutaragi would be moving into a different position as chairman and group CEO. Kaz Hirai replaced him in the position as president of SCEI and COO, with Jack Tretton assuming Hirai's prior positions as SCEA president and CEO.

In April of 2007, Kutaragi officially announced his decision to retire effective June 19.

Kutaragi will continue to hold the title of honorary chairman at SCEI, and will remain a senior technology advisor to Sony Corporation CEO Sir Howard Stringer.

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