A big media executive is stepping down at Sony to help Snapchat on its quest to redefine the camera — and television.
Michael Lynton, chief executive of Sony’s entertainment division, announced Friday he is leaving his role at Sony to focus on Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat where he is chairman on the board.
According to an internal email obtained by Mashable, Lynton decided that Snap needed more of his attention given its growth. Indeed, the news comes as CEO Evan Spiegel and other members of Snap’s executive teams are meeting with investors to discuss an upcoming initial public offering.
“This was not an easy decision for me, and one that I arrived at after long and careful consideration,” he wrote in the email.
“As some of you are already aware, I have been involved with Snapchat since its early days. Given Snapchat’s growth – and my growing role and responsibilities in it – I recently determined that the time was right to make a change,” the email continued.
Lynton was an early investor in Snapchat. He invested about $200,000 in 2012, according to a 2013 report from Variety. Snap is now seeking a valuation as high as $30 billion, according to reports. Lynton later joined Snapchat’s board.
Leaked emails from the 2014 Sony hack revealed Lynton’s role in advising and helping to broker deals with Spiegel. For example, one email exchange revealed Spiegel’s interest in buying a record label and establishing a relationship with Vevo.
Snap quietly filed IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November.
Lynton will stay with Sony for the next six months to “ensure a smooth transition,” according to his email to employees.