Sony has announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House is to step down at the end of 2017, leaving the company after 27 years. His successor will be current deputy president Tsuyoshi 'John' Kodera.

House took over as head of the PlayStation brand in 2011, when the company was slowly recovering from the botched launch of PlayStation 3. He turned things around, with the PS4 now far-and-away the world's most popular console.

In a statement, Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai said: "When I passed the baton of leadership for Sony Computer Entertainment to Andrew House in 2011, I was confident that I was leaving the PlayStation business in the best possible hands, and so it has proved.

"I'm extremely grateful to Andy for the great contribution he has made to evolving the PlayStation business, and firmly positioning it as one of the drivers of our future growth.

"Andy and I go back more than 20 years and spent much of this time together, dedicating ourselves to ensuring the success of the PlayStation business. I would like to thank Andy for his contribution over many years, and wish him every success in the future."

House joined the company in 1990, working in corporate communications, before transitioning to marketing and moving up through the corporate ranks, holding many key positions.

At Sony he helped launch all four PlayStation consoles, as well as handhelds PSP and PS Vita, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. He also oversaw the merger between Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment last year, which resulted in Sony Interactive Entertainment.

"I'm tremendously proud of what we've built with PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment: entertaining millions globally with the best in games and creating a fully fledged digital entertainment company," said House.

"PlayStation has been a huge part of my life for more than 20 years but with the business having achieved record-breaking success, now seemed to be the right time for me to pursue new challenges. I shall always treasure the friendships and people that have made Sony Interactive Entertainment such a wonderful place to work."

Kodera takes over with PlayStation in a commanding position within the industry, but that comes with pressure to sustain that success through the PS4's remaining years and carry that over to the PS5 or whatever it is that comes next.

Describing his appointment as "a great honour", Kodera said in a statement: "I'm very grateful to Kaz and Andy for the trust and faith they have shown in me. I intend to build on the amazing progress Andy has made enhancing the PlayStation brand and expanding the game and network services business, and will strive to further strengthen the unique value proposition we are able to offer via the PlayStation platform.

" I look forward to working together with the SIE team, and everyone across the Sony Group, to continue to strengthen relations with our business partners, and provide the best possible interactive entertainment experiences, that only PlayStation can deliver."