January 1, 1960 |
London, United Kingdom
|Occupation||CEO, Sony Corporation of America
Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
|Spouse(s)||Jamie Alter (3 children)|
Early life and education
Lynton was born in 1960 in London, the son of Dutch Jewish émigrés who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s. His family moved to the United States for several years and then returned to the Netherlands in 1969. He moved to New England to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, and then enrolled at Harvard University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and returned for his MBA after a few years on Wall Street. Lynton's family started the Hunter Douglas chain of Window Blinds.
Lynton joined The Walt Disney Company in 1987 and started Disney Publishing, where he launched Disney Adventures magazine. From 1992 to 1996, he served as President of Disney’s Hollywood Pictures. Then, from 1996 to 2000, Lynton served as Chairman and CEO of Pearson plc’s Penguin Group. In 2000, Lynton joined Time Warner where he served as CEO of AOL Europe, President of AOL International and President of Time Warner International.
Since 2004, Lynton has managed Sony Pictures’ global operations, including motion pictures, television and digital content production and distribution, as well as home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, and the development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. In March 2012, Sony Corporation announced that Lynton would additionally hold the position of CEO of Sony Corporation of America and Sony Entertainment, Inc., overseeing Sony’s global entertainment businesses, including Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. In 2004, Lynton was named Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. 
Under the leadership of Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures' Motion Pictures Group has released such hits as The Social Network, The Karate Kid, Salt, Grown Ups, Hancock, Quantum of Solace, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Julie & Julia, District 9, Michael Jackson's This Is It, and 2012. In 2011, the studio's major releases included The Smurfs®, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, The Ides of March, Friends With Benefits and Midnight in Paris, among others, which garnered significant fan and critical acclaim. Sony Pictures is one of only two studios to generate more than $1 billion in domestic box office sales for each of the past ten years. Last year, the studio's successful slate of films generated more than $3 billion in worldwide box office revenues. The studio is currently poised to release such highly anticipated films as The Amazing Spider-Man, Men in Black 3, the latest James Bond adventure Skyfall, and more.
Lynton spearheaded strategic acquisitions for the company including online video startup Grouper in 2007, Dutch TV production company 2waytraffic in 2008, and game show production company Embassy Row in 2009. Sony Pictures Television produces and distributes television programming for multiple platforms in the U.S. and around the world. Among the unit's popular and award-winning programs in the U.S. are Breaking Bad, Justified, Happy Endings and The Big C, reality series like Shark Tank, The Sing-Off and Re-Modeled, as well as top-ranked game shows and daytime dramas, including Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives. Launched with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, The Dr. Oz Show is one of the most popular syndicated programs in America. The Dr. Oz format has also been exported to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and China (where for the first time a Hollywood studio is producing a talk show for Chinese television). Internationally, the studio's television channel network includes 120 channel feeds in more than 159 countries reaching approximately 543 million households worldwide. SPT is a leader in local language production around the world, producing shows in approximately 70 countries. SPT also operates Crackle, which is one of the top online video networks in the U.S. and expanding internationally.
Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal have made significant advances in environmental sustainability at Sony Pictures. The studio is the first and only certified to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). The duo led the development of two Green Building Council Leadership in Engineering and Design (LEED) certified buildings on the studio’s Culver City lot. Sony Pictures has received numerous honors from the Environmental Media Association for sustainable filmmaking as well as community recognition from TreePeople and Habitat for Humanity for its green practices and volunteerism.
As one of the longest tenured and wealthiest studio heads, though he avoids most interviews and public appearances, Lynton has long been considered one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the UK government's Film Policy Review group and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Natural Resources Defense Council, and the board of trustees of The Modern Times Group and the Rand Corporation.
In 2011, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Lynton co-chairman of the blue ribbon commission set up to assess the viability of a new NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles. Following the departure of Chairman Walter Isaacson in February 2012, Lynton was named interim presiding governor of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent agency of the United States government responsible for all non-military, international broadcasting sponsored by the U.S government. In May 2012, the Harvard Alumni Association elected Lynton to the Harvard Board of Overseers.
Lynton resides in Los Angeles with his wife Jamie (Alter) and their three daughters. Lynton's sister Lili is business partners with Daniel Boloud, a premiere New York City restaurateur. Lynton's brother-in-law is Jonathan Alter, a longtime Newsweek columnist and NBC reporter.
He speaks four languages: English, French, Dutch, and German.
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