Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is stepping down from his position as head of the film and television powerhouse to take on a more active role at Snap, the parent company of widely-used app Snapchat.
Lynton was an early investor in Snap and joined the board in June 2013, and became chairman late last year. He’ll stay on at Sony as co-CEO for a six-month wind-down period. The transition comes amid Snap’s move into the public sphere, as the company is widely believed to have filed confidentially for its IPO in November.
"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 in a statement. "I have been involved with Evan (Spiegel) 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."
In his 13-year tenure at Sony, Lynton may be best known for leading the company through an infamous 2014 cyberattack, when North Korean hackers infiltrated Sony’s email servers and released sensitive information to the public, including email conversations between Lynton and Spiegel.
In his new role, Lynton will reportedly focus on strategy and governance in support of Spiegel. Snap has been in the headlines over the last few months for its upcoming public offering, which could reportedly value the company between $20 billion and $25 billion.
There's mounting evidence that Snap's IPO is, in fact, moving forward. Axios reported last week that Snap may file a public regulatory before the end of the month and that the company has hired Solebury Group, an advisory firm known for helping determine IPO allocations. It’s likely the company will issue its public offering by this spring.
But it’s not all good news for Snap. The year opened with some negative PR for the company when an ex-employee sued Snap for allegedly lying about key growth metrics.