Leadership Spotlight: Lin Tao SVP, Finance, Corporate Development and Strategy
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) values expertise, especially in leadership roles. Few represent this dedication to long-term growth as much as Lin Tao, who serves as SIE’s SVP, Finance, Corporate Development and Strategy. As a Sony Group veteran, Lin has shown her incredible wealth of experience and knowledge in each of her roles within SIE, and the larger organization.
Lin joined the PlayStation team after the launch of PS2, Lin spent five years working on that console while helping shape the PS3 era. Switching tracks, Lin headed off to Sweden to spend the next eight years with Sony Ericsson and Sony Mobile alongside the rise and shift in the mobile industry.
Zooming In & Zooming Out
Over the course of her career with Sony, Lin has taken, as she calls it, a zoom in/zoom out approach to her roles, giving her the chance to zoom in and be laser-focused on smaller strategies and also zoom out and look at ways to manage the larger global business. “The experience not only gave me the opportunity to know a new industry other than gaming, but also gave me a chance to work with a very global team, and taught me a big lesson to always pay attention to the tide of the industry,” said Lin. “After eight years at Sony Mobile, I then moved back to Sony HQ to take on a zoomed out phase of my career where I worked with the former CEO of Sony Corp, Mr. Hirai, and then became the Chief of Staff of Mr. Yoshida, the current CEO.”
During her time as Chief of Staff with Sony Group Cooperation, Lin was coordinating and planning for the future of the company. Later, she was appointed as head of Sony Business Development, where she was responsible for leading business development, exploring investment opportunities for the company, and collaborating with other Sony companies on creative and forward-looking projects.
As of last year, Lin returned to her home with the PlayStation brand to apply a more zoomed in approach to find opportunities that will propel Sony Interactive Entertainment into the future. “With the support of some exceptional team members, our goal is to look at the ever-changing industry and build a strategic plan that will help shape the future of the PlayStation business for the coming years.”
Planting Seeds for the Future
Looking back, Lin says she is proud of her time working with PlayStation founders and CFO Mark Kato during the PS2 and PS3 eras, and feels that the work done then has laid the foundations for events still unfolding today. “The PlayStation business model has been a very innovative one, in a way we are still harvesting the seeds that were planted so many years ago,” said Lin. “Recently, I would say that I am proud of, and excited for, Bungie joining Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was such a big project in scope that was led by a small group of very professional and very passionate people.”
Lin sees the PlayStation team continuing to sow seeds for generations to come, not only on consoles, but also other platforms. “The seeds that my team are planting now are finding those pieces that can make PlayStation an ecosystem that brings more unique and rich gaming experiences to our fans around the world,” said Lin. “It can be new technology, new business models, new creative minds, or new IPs. Collaborating with PlayStation Studios, we made several of these steps last year in the acquisitions of BluePoint Games, Housemarque, and more.”
“The seeds that my team are planting now are finding those pieces that can make PlayStation an ecosystem that brings more unique and rich gaming experiences to our fans around the world”
Although Lin is a lifelong fan of games of all kinds, her younger self would have been surprised by her career, as she had originally planned to pursue fashion as her vocation. “I’m still a huge fan of fashion, but I didn’t think I had the talent to be a designer,” laughs Lin. “So even though I did not pursue that career path and I love what I am currently doing now, I know that fashion is a passion of mine that I will continue to follow until my last day.”
Part of Lin’s success within Sony Group can be attributed to her time management, prioritizing well-being not only for personal life, but as a team leader. “I first secure my time with my kids and family. That is something that I prioritize within my day and they are the motivation for me to work hard,” said Lin. “Second, I am very mindful of my team members and my own well-being. I think health management and well-being is essential because if you don’t have a very healthy life, with a healthy body and mind, you just can’t process all the information that you receive in a regular workday and maintain a positive attitude, not to mention to drive to growth and explore new business opportunities which requires a lot of energy and power.”
“What I have been really passionate about is not finding a perfect person, but building a perfect team and finding talent that complements the others who are working with SIE.”
As a longtime member of the Sony and PlayStation family, Lin encourages people with all kinds of skills to think about joining the company, especially if they’re a team player. “I believe there’s no perfect person or individual for a role, but there is a perfect team,” shares Lin. “What I have been really passionate about is not finding a perfect person, but building a perfect team and finding talent that complements the others who are working with SIE.”
Her words of wisdom for future members of the SIE and PlayStation team? Focus on steps to goals, not the goal itself. “While many people focus on the end goal when starting a task, I wish someone would have advised me to focus on the process to reach that goal,” shares Lin. “I believe that the steps taken to reach a goal are more important than the final outcome. When a goal is accomplished, it’s a final step, but the steps used to achieve that goal are what we can use later in our careers to better ourselves and how we work as a team.”
Want to be a part of Lin Tao’s team and build the next generation of entertainment and gaming? Visit PlayStation Careers for a full list of available open roles.