Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson
Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, usually known as Olaf Olafsson, is an Icelandic businessman, writer, and scientist. He is best known for his tenure at Sony and his leadership in the creation of the PlayStation video game console.
Ólafur Ólafsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland on 26 September 1962. He studied physics as a Wien Scholar at Brandeis University. He lives in New York City with his wife Anna Ólafsdóttir and three children.
He is the author of three previous novels, The Journey Home, Absolution and Walking Into the Night, and a story collection, Valentines. He also wrote the play The Feast of the Snails, albeit to mixed reviews. His books have been published to critical acclaim in more than twenty languages. Olafsson is the recipient of the O. Henry Award and the Icelandic Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize, and has twice been nominated for the IMPAC Award.
Olafsson began a career at Sony in 1985, where he rose through several positions. In 1991, he founded Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc., and became its first president and chief executive officer. Sony Interactive was established as a free-functioning unit of Sony Corporation. Olafsson built and managed its businesses in the United States and Europe.[clarification needed] During his six-year tenure, he directed the worldwide operations of Sony's entertainment software and hardware divisions and was responsible for the creation and launch of the PlayStation console, which would go onto generate major sales and profits for Sony Interactive.
Olafsson became a member of the board of directors of Advanta Corporation, a specialty finance company, in 1997, and became Advanta's president in March 1998. Olafsson left Advanta in 1999 to join Time Warner as Vice Chairman of Digital Media. He briefly left the company after its merger with AOL, which formed the short-lived AOL Time Warner. He returned at the request of CEO Richard D. Parsons after Time Warner executives reasserted control over the company. He was later given the title of Executive Vice President. With the AT&T purchase of Time Warner, it has been speculated that Olafsson and several other Time Warner executives would be leaving the combined company.
- Absolution (Pantheon, 1994)
- The Journey Home (Pantheon, 2000). Palomar Pictures has considered adapting The Journey Home (Slóð fiðrildanna) as a film.
- Walking Into the Night (Pantheon, 2003)
- Valentines (Random House, 2007). Won the 2006 Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction.
- Restoration (Harper Collins: Ecco, 2012)
- "Við verðum að styrkja listamenn". RÚV (in Icelandic). 29 March 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Ólafur Jóhann vann en var vikið". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 25 October 1995. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson". forlagid.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson". Reykjavík City Library.
- Advanta Hires Sony Playstation Chief as President
- Advanta president resigns
- "Olaf J. Olafsson | Time Warner Inc". Time Warner. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- Time Warner profile, cached