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Sony chief leaving to focus on Snapchat

Sony chief leaving to focus on Snapchat

SAN FRANCISCO: The head of Sony’s entertainment business announced on Friday that he is stepping down to devote energy to Snapchat as the start-up behind the smartphone messaging app prepares to go public.

Michael Lynton will step down from his job running the Japan-based company’s pictures and music business as of Feb 2 to spend more time as chairman of the board of Snap Inc., Sony Corporation said in a release.

An early investor in Snapchat, Lynton has been on the board nearly four years. The California company confirmed to AFP that Lynton became chairman of the board late last year.

“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.,” Lynton said in the release.

He will stay on as “co-chief executive officer” of Sony Entertainment, working with Sony Corporation chief Kazuo Hirai to find a successor, according to the company. Lynton has been a Sony executive for 13 years.

The firm behind the popular disappearing message application says it has more than 150 million daily active users, including 50 million in Europe.

Snap Inc. reportedly filed confidential paperwork in November for a public share offering valuing the messaging platform at more than $20 billion. The initial public offering would be among the biggest in the tech sector in recent years, shining a light on the fast-growing platform where mobile messages and photos disappear within seconds of being viewed by recipients.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2017

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