The chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton, is stepping down from the entertainment company to assume a chairmanship position at Snapchat, a company he co-founded with 26-year-old Evan Spiegel, who is the CEO of Snap Inc., Variety reports.
Sony Pictures CEO Lynton revealed on Friday that he will be leaving the company on February 2, but will help Sony Corporation CEO Kazuo Hirai to scout for his replacement for the next six months. Hirai is based in Japan but has decided to open an office for himself in the US to enable him and Lynton search for a replacement.
In the meantime, Hirai will function as co-CEO of Sony Pictures and oversee movie, music and television operations as added responsibilities until when a suitable candidate is found to replace Lynton. Lynton worked for 13 years in Sony Pictures and oversaw the production of big-budget hit movies, but also suffered some setbacks when company’s systems were hacked in 2014 among other not-so-successful TV and movie productions, Reuters said.
Hirai acknowledged the contributions of Lynton to management changes and other structural development in Sony Pictures, and said he looks forward to working with him to ensure the company transits well into the hands of a new leader. Hirai also reiterated the importance of entertainment business to the overall objective of Sony Corporation and called for more profitability and growth in Sony Pictures.
“It has been an extraordinary 13 years and an honor to work at Sony with some of the most talented and creative people in the entertainment space,” Lynton said in a statement. “I have been involved with Evan and Snapchat since its early days, and given its growth since then, decided the time was right to transition and focus on my role as Chairman of the Board of Snap Inc.”
There are speculations that other top-shots in the entertainment industry might replace Lynton but these persons are yet to be confirmed for the position. Among people rumored to be suitable for the position are Jeffrey Katzenberg, the founder and former CEO of DreamWorks Animation; Peter Ligouri, CEO and president of Tribune Media; and Jim Gianopulos, former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.