Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Entertainment, will be stepping down from the company in order to serve as chairman of Snap (the makers of Snapchat), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lynton’s name may sound familiar with respect to Snap. During his time at Sony Entertainment, he oversaw the company suffer a massive breach — which also included a trove of leaked emails between Lynton and various Snapchat executives and investors. In those emails it was revealed that Snapchat bought a set of smaller companies, but also indicated the deeper involvement Lynton (an early investor and board member) had with the company and some of the company’s future prospects.
As CEO of a massive entertainment company, it would make sense that Snap would need someone like that helping to support the company’s executive team with experience and connections and be involved in the overall strategy of the company. Snap increasingly has to court advertisers and people with massive audiences on other platforms if it’s going to convince Wall Street that it has the potential to be a strong public company.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Snap quietly named Lynton as its chairman late last year.
So, now Lynton will be taking over a larger role in guiding Snapchat (sorry, Snap) as it moves forward toward its initial public offering, which is expected to happen early this year. Snap is expected to be valued north of $20 billion when it goes public. The company is also projecting to generate $1 billion in revenue this year, and is probably one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs in the past few years.