The departure of Lisa Simpson, president of Sony Online Entertainment in the United States, would appear to be a temporary setback to Sony's plans to transform itself into what it is calling a "broadband entertainment company."
Simpson, who will become chief operating officer of CBS' Internet unit, formerly directed development of Sony's online gaming, music and motion picture sites. SOE was a joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Sony Pictures Entertainment but will now be a part of a new Sony Pictures digital entertainment unit headed by Yair Landau.
Just last week, Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei announced in Japan that the company will group three of its U.S. media units under a new company called Sony Broadband Entertainment to be formed in July. The company will oversee the operations of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment.
"We'll soon announce a world-class CEO (for Sony Broadband) that we already had a search out for," said a Sony Pictures Entertainment representative. "In that context, Lisa probably chose to leave the company for another opportunity," the spokesperson said.
The reorganization of some of Sony's content properties follows a similar restructuring of Sony Electronics of America announced earlier in March.
The reasoning behind all the moves, Sony has said, is that it hopes to move more quickly to expand its offerings of digital content piped into customer's homes and onto Sony hardware.
Bloomberg News contributed to this story.