Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is stepping down from his position to focus on another role: Chairman of Snap Inc. Lynton will reportedly work with Sony chief Kazuo Hirai over the next six months to find a replacement. "Given Snapchat's growth - and my growing role and responsibilities in it - I recently determined that the time was right to make a change", Lynton said in his note to the company.
He spent 13 years with Sony, beginning in 2004 as chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and in 2012 was named CEO of Sony Entertainment.
Snap, the owner of the popular Snapchat app, is expected to go public early this year, vying for a $25 billion valuation. "I leave Sony with great pride in all we have accomplished together".
The Tokyo-based Hirai will add a second office in Culver City, California, where the film studio is based.
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In April 2016, he was appointed corporate executive officer of Sony Corp. overseeing the Pictures and Music business. After the infamous 2014 hack, executive turmoil continued as the entertainment company endured several flops and adjusted to Lynton's leadership.
In addition, the Sony movie studio has suffered from a string of disappointments at the box office. Lynton said in his memo. In June, long-time Sony executive Doug Belgrad announced he was leaving the company just one day after Sony Pictures TV chairman Steve Mosko said he was leaving after 24 years with Sony. In November past year, Andrew Gumpert, the head of Sony Pictures' business affairs group, left to become CEO at Paramount Pictures.
The entertainment industry is undergoing major transformative changes, and Lynton's expertise in the media and entertainment space had been invaluable.