Michael Lynton, the chief executive of Sony’s embattled entertainment division, is stepping down from the company as his chairmanship of Snap comes into focus.
Snap’s IPO, expected in March, is already having ripple effects throughout the business world, and Sony is losing one of its top dogs.
Michael Lynton, the man brought in by Amy Pascal, has been at Sony for over a decade and was in his prominent role when the company suffered a particularly crushing cyberattack in 2015.
This resulted in significant embarrassment at the company, with Pascal losing her job and a raft of unreleased movies leaking onto the internet.
Lynton will leave officially in six months, overseeing the changeover in the meantime; though his eye will presumably be more focused on Snap, a company he has been chairman of since late last year, as a $25bn IPO nears.
Snap is getting all of its ducks in a row ahead of its IPO. Last week, it emerged that the company behind Snapchat was increasing its UK footprint.
In a move that will enhance its current presence in London (75 staff already work there, up from single figures one year ago), the decision is a major result for a country still working out how to progress in a post-Brexit world.
The company will orchestrate all revenues from countries where Snap has no local entity of sales force, according to the Financial Times. This means, for now, French, Australian, Canadian and Saudi Arabian business will all flow through the UK office.
According to The New York Times, Lynton’s role at Snap will not see him make direct management decisions, but will allow him to focus on matters involving strategy and governance in support of Evan Spiegel, Snap’s chief executive.
“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,” said Lynton, confident that “the broad changes we have made and new management team we have assembled over the last few years” at Sony would bear fruit.
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