After being at the head of Daybreak Game Company (formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment) from the very beginning, John Smedley is stepping down as President and CEO of the company.
In a statement released to VentureBeat, a spokeperson for Daybreak said, ““I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined. Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”
Smedley was infamously targetted by a bomb hoax which grounded his plane, amidst DDoS attacks that knocked the PlayStation Network offline last August. Members from the gang responsible were subsequently uncovered and arrested, but it was in the wake of the sentencing of 17 -year-old Julius Kivimaki that saw him avoiding jail time, despite being convicted of 50,700 computer crimes, that this feud was reignited.
It was after publicly decrying this leniency on Reddit – which will have been, in part, down to Kivimaki’s age – and threatening to sue Kivimaki on Twitter, that Daybreak found themselves the subject of DDoS attacks from the remaining members of the online gang on July 9th.
Though it is naturally disappointing to see such an experienced and influential figure forced to step down, it also seems to be a pragmatic decision for the company’s future, which will hopefully help them to avoid further attacks that affect their games. Smedley will be returning to work at Daybreak after taking time off, but will presumably be in a less public position, with current COO Russell Shanks taking on the role of company President.