[Tokyo, Japan - January 14, 2017 / Culver City, California - January 13, 2017]
Sony Corporation announced today that Michael Lynton will step down as Corporate Executive Officer of Sony Corporation and CEO of Sony Entertainment in charge of its Pictures and Music businesses effective as of February 2, 2017, to be Chairman of the Board of Snap Inc.
For the next six months, Mr. Lynton will stay on as Co-CEO of Sony Entertainment, overseeing the Pictures and Music businesses, and as CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Corporation of America, to work with Sony Corporation's President and CEO Kazuo Hirai to find a replacement, in particular for the leadership of Sony Pictures Entertainment. During the transition, Mr. Lynton will work closely with Mr. Hirai, who will take on the additional title of Chairman and Co-CEO of Sony Entertainment. Mr. Hirai will also have a second office at SPE's offices in Culver City, California, to oversee the management of the entertainment companies, namely Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, as well as Sony Corporation of America.
"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," said Lynton. "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. I leave Sony with great pride in all we have accomplished together, and confidence that the broad changes we have made and new management team we have assembled over the last few years will strengthen the company overall. I want to thank Sony Corp. - Kaz Hirai and Howard Stringer in particular - for their leadership and support over the years, and our excellent teams at Pictures and Music for their unwavering dedication to producing and distributing outstanding entertainment."
"I want to thank Michael for his strong leadership and dedication to Sony throughout his long and illustrious career with the company," said Hirai. "The entertainment industry continues to undergo some of the most transformative changes it has ever seen, and Michael's vast experience and expertise in the entertainment and media space has been invaluable in charting a path forward through this new landscape. Particularly the broad structural and management changes Michael has recently implemented will help our music business sustain its strong momentum, and the pictures business to set the path for restoring profitability and future growth, though we recognize current challenges in motion pictures business and its turnaround will take some time. As we look ahead, we see our entertainment businesses as essential parts of Sony, and I look forward to working with Michael towards a smooth transition."
Mr. Lynton will step down after 13 years with Sony. He began in 2004 as Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and in 2012 was named CEO of Sony Entertainment, expanding his oversight to include Sony Pictures and also the music companies, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. In April 2016, he was appointed as Corporate Executive Officer of Sony Corporation in charge of the Pictures and Music businesses. He has led each of the entertainment companies through a period of significant change in the film, television and music industries by focusing on digital transformation, reorientation to global audiences, content diversity and the creation of new distribution platforms.