Sony Said to Tap Studio Chief Lynton to Oversee Media Units

Sony Corp. (6758) plans to name studio Chairman Michael Lynton as chief executive officer of U.S. entertainment, putting film, television and music under a single CEO, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

The promotion will be announced by Tokyo-based Sony within a week, said one of the people, who sought anonymity because the matter isn’t public. The role won’t include oversight of the PlayStation’s U.S. operations, the people said. Not all of the details have been worked out, they said.

Kazuo Hirai, who is replacing Howard Stringer as CEO, is consolidating oversight of units that produced more than 30 percent of Sony’s profit last year. That frees Hirai to focus on the money-losing consumer electronics business, the people said. Lynton, 52, who will report to Hirai, will remain in Los Angeles and continue to lead Sony Pictures Entertainment with co- chairman Amy Pascal, the people said.

George Boyd, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Sony, declined to comment.

Doug Morris, who oversees Sony Music, and Martin Bandier, who runs the Sony/ATV Music Publishing joint-venture with the estate of Michael Jackson, will report to Lynton, the people said. The New York Post reported Lynton’s promotion March 20.

Sony also plans to appoint Nicole Seligman, currently general counsel and executive vice president, as president of Sony Corp. of America, gaining oversight of legal and communications, one of the people said. Seligman will be in New York and travel frequently to Tokyo, the person said.

Rob Wiesenthal, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Sony Corp. of America, may take a role at Sony/ATV, assisting with the planned purchase of EMI music publishing, the people said.

Sony rose 0.5 percent to 1,741 yen as of 11:30 a.m. in Tokyo trading, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average was up 0.5 percent. The shares have gained 26 percent this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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