PlayStation elevates top UK marketer role

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), which operates the PlayStation brand, has elevated the role of the top UK marketer as part of a wider management restructure.

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Murray Pannell joins SCE as UK and Ireland marketing director from games publisher Ubisoft, where he also held a marketing director role. He replaces Alan Duncan who announced he was leaving SCE UK after 13 years at the company earlier this month.

The new role takes on marketing responsibility for Ireland as well as the UK as part of new managing director Fergal Gara’s initiative for the two business to work more closely together. The result means Pannell will have more direct reports than his predecessor to accommodate the Irish marketing division.

Pannell’s appointment comes as part of a wider restructure of the UK senior management team as Gara, who joined the company in October, looks to “take the business forward and deliver fantastic initiatives for [its] end consumers and industry partners”.

Other new starters include former UK and Ireland head of sales at Universal Pictures Alex Coultate, who becomes SCE’s commercial director for UK and Ireland, and former senior commercial manager of mobile at Virgin Media Nick Dickinson, who joins as head of business development.

Sony’s gaming business accounted for 24% of its revenue for the full year to 31 March. Revenue in this division declined 6.8% year on year to $9.1bn (£5.9bn), which Sony said reflected lower sales value of PlayStation 3 hardware due to a strategic price reduction and fewer sales of the PlayStation 2 due to platform migration.

The company is currently preparing the launch of its next generation console, the Sony PlayStation 4, which is due next year, according to reports. The release is likely to coincide with the launch of rival Microsoft’s Xbox 720, but after the roll out of the Nintendo Wii U, which is expected in the last quarter of this year.

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