Michael Lynton, chairman of Snapchat’s parent company and outgoing CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, sold $933,419 worth of stock in Snap Inc.’s initial public offering Thursday, according to regulatory filings.
Lynton was an early investor in Snap, which is currently worth more than $30 billion after investor excitement over the unprofitable company’s future prospects. He has served on the Snap board since April 2013 and was named independent chairman in September 2016.
After selling 54,907 shares, Lynton — through various affiliated entities and trusts — now owns 2.96 million shares of Snap, per the company’s prospectus. Lynton’s holding are worth $80 million with the stock closing at $27.09 per share Friday, up 59% from the $17 IPO price per share. His plans to sell the shares were set before Snap established final pricing for the public offering.
Lynton, 57, had been chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment since 2004. He announced his plans to exit in January to focus on Snap, which calls itself a “camera company” but whose main product is the Snapchat disappearing-message and media app. Officially, however, Lynton has agreed to remain with Sony Pictures Entertainment for six months or until a successor is named. For the time being he’s also co-CEO of Sony Entertainment with Kazuo Hirai, Sony Corp.’s CEO.
“I have been involved with Evan (Spiegel, Snap’s CEO) 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.,” Lynton said in a statement announcing his departure from Sony.
Meanwhile, Snap’s co-founders — Spiegel and CTO Bobby Murphy — now each own stock worth more than $5.5 billion at the current share price after selling 16 million shares to collect $272 million in the IPO.
Lynton, in addition to serving as Snap’s chairman, is on the board’s compensation committee and its nominating and corporate governance committee. He also sits on the board of asset-management firm Ares Management, which he joined as a director in 2014.