The CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton, is stepping down in order to focus on his role as chairman of app maker Snap, as it prepares for its initial public offering.

Lynton, who was with Sony for 13 years, explained he had been involved with the Snapchat maker 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”.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), he and his wife were among the earliest investors in the Snapchat maker. Lynton has been on its board since 2013 and is one of CEO Evan Spiegel’s “most trusted advisers”.

As Snap moves toward its long-awaited IPO, the firm is under pressure to convince investors it can evolve into a content and media powerhouse.

While Lynton, who also holds the title of corporate executive officer for Sony, will step down on 2 February, he will remain for a further six months as co-CEO of Sony Entertainment, alongside group chief Kazuo Hirai, as a replacement is sought.

According to a statement by Sony, Lynton led the firm through a period of significant change in the film, television and music industries by focusing on digital transformation, reorientation to global audiences, content diversity and the creation of new distribution platforms.

Snap IPO
Meanwhile WSJ also reported Snap’s founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, don’t want investors in its upcoming IPO to have any voting rights, leaving decisions such as who will be on the board to them.

The two are expected to hold more than 70 per cent of the voting power despite owning roughly 45 per cent of shares, people familiar with the matter said.

The report added that Spiegel and Murphy want to be transparent about wanting to stay in control for the long term.