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Naoto Hiraoka steps down as Atlus CEO and president

Hiraoka will remain with company in other capacities as Sega execs split Atlus leadership duties

Atlus USA president and CEO Naoto Hiraoka is changing positions within the company after six years at the helm, parent company Sega announced today.

"Former Atlus USA, Inc. President and CEO Naoto Hiraoka will focus on his role as Atlus brand owner and further expand the Atlus brand worldwide," the company said, adding, "Recognized for his contribution to and leadership of Atlus USA, Inc. and the resulting success of titles like Persona 5, Catherine and SMT series, Mr. Hiraoka will now move forward leading many of the company's important creative projects."

Going forward, Hiraoka's duties will be split between a pair of Sega executives. Sega of America COO and president Ian Curran will add the role and responsibilities of Atlus USA president and COO to his plate, while Sega West CEO Tatsuyuki Miyazaki will also serve as Atlus USA CEO. Hiraoka will remain on the board of directors for both Atlus USA and Sega of America.

"We wish Mr. Hiraoka the very best of luck in his role and are thankful that he'll still be a valuable asset to the Atlus team," Miyazaki said. "I'm thrilled to play a greater role in the continued success of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. and work alongside Ian, who has done an incredible job in just a couple of short months in his role as president and COO of Sega of America."

Sega announced Curran's appointment as president and COO at the beginning of August. Hiraoka has been with Atlus in some form since 2001, when he joined the company as a project manager on the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.