Michael Lynton to Join Sony Pictures Entertainment as Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation of America - 12/10/2003
Michael Lynton has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), it was announced today by Howard Stringer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation of America and Vice Chairman, Sony Corporation. Mr. Lynton, who had been President, Time Warner International; President, AOL International, and CEO, AOL Europe, since 2000, will be headquartered in Culver City, California.
At the same time, Amy Pascal, Vice Chairman, SPE, is promoted to Chairman of the Motion Picture Group at SPE, with responsibility for all of the films produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Both appointments are effective in January 2004.
"The combination of Michael Lynton, with his diverse global business and creative experience, and Amy Pascal, with her command of the motion picture process, brings together a formidable partnership at exactly the right time," said Howard Stringer. "We have just enjoyed two record-breaking years at SPE, and anticipate a brilliant 2004 with SPIDERMAN 2, BEWITCHED and a great slate of films. The studio is now in terrific shape, and we have a solid platform on which to build our digital future."
"Sony has been moving aggressively to achieve a true convergence of all of our businesses around the world," Mr. Stringer continued. "This is a critical juncture in the evolution of the digital world, and it is the right time for Sony and SPE to accelerate our strategy to be a fully integrated media, entertainment and technology company, merging our creative capabilities with the abundant digital technologies only Sony can offer."
Mr. Lynton and Ms. Pascal will both report to Mr. Stringer. They will serve on the SPE operating committee headed by Mr. Stringer, together with Jeff Blake, Yair Landau, Rob Wiesenthal, Joe Roth and John Calley. Together, Mr. Lynton and Ms. Pascal will share joint responsibility for the Motion Picture Group.
Jeff Blake will continue as Vice Chairman, SPE and President, Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, reporting to Mr. Lynton. Yair Landau, Vice Chairman, SPE and President, Sony Pictures Digital with responsibility for Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Online Entertainment, will also report to Mr. Lynton.
"We are very happy to welcome Michael Lynton to SPE as its Chairman and CEO," said Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation. "His experience in managing global businesses, together with his knowledge of both creative and digital media operations, will enable SPE to continue its evolution into a global digital media company and further our overall convergence strategy towards the broadband future. His diverse background will complement the talents of Amy Pascal, and together with Jeff Blake and Yair Landau they will form the most forward-thinking studio leadership in the industry."
"Michael is a unique and versatile executive, possessing not only an impressive international business and media background, but also a proven track record in the world of digital services, publishing and motion picture management," said Mr. Stringer. "His experience, fresh perspective and leadership skills will enable us to move quickly to transform SPE into a 21st century entertainment company, and fully integrate its mission with the global strategy of Sony Corporation."
"We are also delighted to recognize SPE Vice Chairman Amy Pascal's significant contribution to the growth of the studio with her promotion to Chairman of the Motion Picture Group at SPE," said Mr. Stringer. "The films produced and distributed by our studio represent the largest financial commitment and opportunity for SPE, and her creative direction and leadership has been critical to our success."
"I am thrilled to join Sony Pictures and the team that Howard and John Calley have put in place," said Mr. Lynton. "The fusion of content and devices, together with the rapid globalization of all forms of entertainment, make this a defining moment for our industry. I look forward to working with Amy, Jeff, Yair and all of our other colleagues at SPE and throughout the company, to maximize not only our creative opportunities, but also leverage all of Sony's technical strengths as we make Sony Pictures the standard bearer in this new era."
"I am looking forward to working with Michael," said Amy Pascal, Chairman, of SPE's Motion Picture Group. "He is everything I would ever want in a business partner."
While at Time Warner, Mr. Lynton was responsible for the successful turn-around of AOL Europe, and for extending AOL's global leadership in Asia and Latin America. As President of AOL International he oversaw the world's largest online Internet service, which operated in 17 countries and eight languages. He managed a significant turn around in revenue, and substantial growth of the AOL subscriber base. He joined Time Warner from the international media company Pearson plc, where he served as Chairman and CEO of Pearson's Penguin Group from 1996-2000. While there he led the turn around of Penguin's global publishing operations, oversaw the successful acquisition and integration of Putnam, Inc., and extended the Penguin brand to music and the Internet. Under his leadership the Penguin Group set records in bestsellers, revenues and profits.
Prior to Pearson, Mr. Lynton served as President of Hollywood Pictures, a division of the Walt Disney Company (1992-96). During his tenure the studio produced a diverse and successful slate of films including The Rock, Quiz Show, The Santa Claus, and Crimson Tide. He joined Disney in 1987 and started and built Disney Publishing, serving as its President. He came to Disney from Credit Suisse First Boston, where he worked in mergers and acquisitions from 1982-85 in New York, London and Melbourne.
Mr. Lynton is a graduate of Harvard College (BA, 1982), and Harvard Business School (MBA, l987). He was raised in the Netherlands and is fluent in English, French, German and Dutch. He was born January 1, l960.
Sony Corporation of America, based in New York City, is the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $62.3 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, and it employs 161,100 people worldwide. Sony's consolidated sales in the U.S. for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, was $20 billion.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries.
SOURCE: Sony Corporation of America
CONTACT: Ann Morfogen, +1-212-833-6873, or Mack Araki, +1-212-833-6821,
both of Sony Corporation of America, or Susan Tick of Sony Pictures
Entertainment, +1-310-244-6777, or Kei Sakaguchi of Sony Corporation, Tokyo,
Web site: http://www.sony.com/