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It's Official: Lynton Moves Up to Run Sony Corporation of America In Addition to Sony Pictures Entertainment

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 29, 2012 at 2:56PM

Respected Sony veteran exec Michael Lynton is moving up to chair Sony Corporation of America. The news broke last week in the Financial Times and New York Times; Lynton will continue as chairman/CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. (The official release is pasted below.)
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Sony's Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal
The New York Times Sony's Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal

Respected Sony veteran exec Michael Lynton is moving up to chair Sony Corporation of America. The news broke last week in the Financial Times and New York Times; Lynton will continue as chairman/CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. (The official release is pasted below.)

The news broke last week in the Financial Times and New York Times that Lynton is now chairman/CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. This comes as video game exec Kazuo Hirai is poised to take over the Japanese parent company on April 1, as current Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer becomes chairman of the board. Stringer had continued running Sony Corporation of America after he took over the reins of the parent company in 2005.

Moving the Sony executive deck chairs will also promote Sony general counsel and exec vp Nicole Seligman to an administrative role as president of Sony Corporation of America. Lynton, who like Seligman is a trusted Stringer ally, will be expanding his portfolio to include the music and music publishing groups. Hirai will continue to oversee video games and consumer electronics from Tokyo. The FT suggested that Hirai will be more invested in shoring up Sony's core businesses than entertainment:

Sony’s music businesses and film and TV studio have been among its few profitable divisions in recent years, but some in the US still fear a spin-off or sale that could leave the entertainment companies vulnerable to a takeover.

Another question is whether this promotion means that Lynton will give his Sony Pictures Entertainment title to his co-chair, Amy Pascal, the highest ranking woman in the movie business. Well, the answer is no. Sony makes it clear that Lynton will continue to run Sony's entertainment operations: motion pictures (Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, and TriStar Pictures), worldwide television production and distribution, home entertainment, and digital productions (Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation)--from Culver City and New York. Pascal will remain co-chair of SPE and chair of the motion picture group.

This article is related to: Sony


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.