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Digital pioneer's run ends at Sony

Landau also oversaw the growth of Sony Online Entertainment, a San Diego-based maker of online games such as "Everquest" and "Star Wars Galaxies." He advocated using the team's talent to design the online component of the Sony PlayStation 3 game console.

He could be such a passionate advocate for his ideas that some found him arrogant. One former Sony executive recounted how that could result in uncomfortable confrontations with top management in Tokyo that was contrary to the company's consensus-building culture.

Landau joined Sony Pictures in 1991 from the investment banking world, and served as executive vice president of corporate development. He was named to his current post in 1999.

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