Boss quits at hacked Sony unit

Bloomberg

Tim Schaaff, head of Sony Corp.’s online entertainment service that was hacked into last year, is resigning his post, the electronics maker announced Thursday.

The 52-year-old president of Sony Network Entertainment will leave the position effective Dec. 31, the company said in a statement. Andrew House, president of Sony’s game unit, has been tapped to replace him.

Sony was criticized by U.S. lawmakers after its online networks were attacked by hackers who gained access to information on 77 million users. The company has struggled to integrate all of its software, including music, through the Sony Entertainment Network platform, a plan CEO Kazuo Hirai has said is key to rebounding from four straight years in the red.

“Sony has been flagging this idea of a fusion of hardware and software for about a decade, and we’re still not seeing it,” said Keita Wakabayashi, a Tokyo-based analyst at Mito Securities Co., noting that Schaaff’s resignation may suggest “Hirai’s influence over the company is starting to show.”

Schaaff joined Sony in 2005 after 14 years at Apple Inc., where he helped to develop the QuickTime platform. He will remain as an external director.

In written testimony to a congressional panel in May 2011, Schaaff defended Sony’s decision to wait six days to warn users about the cyber-attack. Schaaff said Sony waited to avoid confusing and panicking them before gathering all the facts.