PlayStation chief Patton nets top Sony European role

LONDON - Chris Deering, the recently appointed chief of Sony Europe, has begun a restructure of the company's pan-European marketing business by promoting David Patton, vice-president of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, to a top European role.

The appointment will see Patton, who is responsible for the marketing of the flagship PlayStation brand across the Continent, given the new role of senior vice-president of communications for Sony.

Deering, who was promoted in December, worked closely with Patton as president and chief operating officer at SCEE, and was responsible for the launch of the original PlayStation console in 1995.

Patton will oversee European corporate and marketing communications for Sony. Until now, Patton has worked with TBWA\London, which handles the PlayStation business. He will now oversee Fallon London's work, which won Sony's £70m pan-European ad business in November 2002.

Patton's responsibilities will be split between UK marketing director Darren Carter, who takes the role of vice-president of brand and consumer marketing for Europe, and Simon Rutter, formerly vice-president of software marketing, who becomes vice-president, product marketing and sales planning. Alan Duncan, marketing manager for the UK, is promoted to UK marketing director.

Patton's promotion comes as Sony tries to reverse a slump in business resulting from a rise in cheap electronic products and its late arrival in the LCD and plasma-screen TV market. He will be instrumental in Sony's pan-European marketing strategy and will assist in the European part of its rescue programme.

Deering's reshuffle is a vote of confidence in Patton, say insiders. He has leapfrogged Tim Kaner, director of marketing communications for Europe, and Andy Griffiths, vice-president of marketing communications for both its consumer electronics and business products in Europe.

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