Michael Lynton Exiting Sony to Join Snapchat as Chairman

Posted January 15, 2017

Michael Lynton will step down from his job running the Japan-based company's pictures and music business as of February 2 to spend more time as chairman of the board of Snap Inc., Sony Corporation said in a release.

Lynton, who has worked at Sony for 13 years and was previously CEO of AOL Europe and a vice president at Time Warner, has served on Snap's board for almost four years.

Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is stepping down to serve as chairman of the board of Snapchat, officially called Snap Inc.

Lynton is one of Snapchat's earliest investors, and has been a member of the company's board for nearly four years.

The move will happen in six months, according to Sony.

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Hirai will take the title of chairman and co-CEO of Sony Entertainment during that time and will gain an office at the company's Culver City, Calif. offices. In 2012, he was named CEO of Sony Entertainment which oversaw Pictures and the conglomerate's music companies. I am confident that the broad changes we have made and the terrific new management team we assembled over the last few years will strengthen the company overall, and position it for greater growth in the future.

In 2014, Sony suffered a massive hack that saw the leak of unreleased films and a trove of embarrassing internal emails and sensitive studio information on the internet. With Michael Layton's connections and his experience of not only working at Sony, but also at Disney, AOL and Pearson will lead the company towards the developments required. The movie was eventually released by Sony online.

Lynton was working primarily from the company's NY offices, which some insiders say had left a vacuum of leadership in Culver City. In November past year, Andrew Gumpert, the head of Sony Pictures' business affairs group, left to become CEO at Paramount Pictures.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November (paywall) that Snap had filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process of an initial public offering, which could be valued as high as $25 billion.