Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra has announced he is leaving the studio, after 15 years. His last day will be April 3, 2017. In a heartfelt letter on the Naughty Dog blog, Balestra says he plans to spend more time with his family and to see what comes next. He doesn't announce any specific post-studio plans, but he does say whatever he moves onto "will obviously involve programming." He had originally joined as a programmer in 2002.
"I always smile when we’re asked what our secret is," he wrote. "We don’t have any–we dedicate ourselves to assembling the best and most determined group of programmers, designers and artists we can find. Our 'secret' is and, always will be, the talent and drive of the whole team at Naughty Dog. That’s why I can step away feeling confident about the future of Naughty Dog–because the team is only losing only one of its many members."
Naughty Dog is currently at work on both The Last of Us Part 2 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Both projects were announced at PlayStation Experience last year, and both are follow-ups to critically acclaimed games that were among the top-rated on their platforms upon release. Naughty Dog certainly has made a reputation for itself under Balestra's leadership, so he's leaving it as a leader in the industry.