UPDATED: Three years ago, Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai made it clear that the need for improved results at Sony Pictures Entertainment was urgent. At the time, he vowed to become a more prominent presence at the studio’s Culver City lot and to exert his authority to ensure a drastic makeover of the conglomerate’s struggling motion picture studio.That was in February 2014, when the Japanese corporate leader signaled he would no longer tolerate substandard performance at his American entertainment operation,...
After 13 years in the top job at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lynton will spend a six-month period as co-CEO before assuming the chairmanship full time at Snap Inc., where he was already serving on the board. It will mark the end of a reign that grew turbulent in the latter years, where he saw Sony through a devastating hack that would test the mettle of even the sturdiest corporate chieftain.
Lynton oversaw movie/TV studio and music businesses sprawled at massive scale across the globe. For example, Sony Pictures Television alone operates 18 wholly-owned production companies in 12 countries generating local content, and also 150 TV channel feeds reaching 178 territories.
On the movie-studio side, Lynton ushered in a revamp of the executive suite, now under Tom Rothman, that keeps a sharp eye the bottom line. But Lynton is also spending strategically with the $750 million buy last September of the remainder of its Sony/ATV Music Publishing venture from the Michael Jackson estate. That big-ticket transaction streamlines a complicated structure for money-machine Sony/ATV that holds the underlying rights to many Beatles songs.
Earlier in his career, he worked for Time Warner, AOL, publisher Pearson and Walt Disney Co. Lynton has undergraduate degrees in history and literature from Harvard College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.