Five Potential Michael Lynton Replacements at Sony Entertainment

As CEO prepares to depart for Snapchat, his chair could be filled by one of these capable executives

Last Updated: January 13, 2017 @ 7:27 PM

Michael Lynton dropped a late Friday bomb on Hollywood in the form of his resignation as CEO of Sony Entertainment and Corporate Executive Officer of Japan’s Sony Corporation.

After 13 years at the top of the Culver City, California lot overseeing both Sony’s motion picture and music businesses, Lynton announced he would be concentrating full time on his position as Snapchat’s board chairman in six months time.

While the coming days will shed light on why Lynton departed, the immediate question is clear: who is taking his chair?

There are several candidates that fit the bill, from a hard-charging former Sony golden boy to a former studio chief to a mogul with nothing on his plate. TheWrap investigates five potential replacements for Lynton, starting with…

Jeff RobinovJeff Robinov

The veteran movie executive shepherded some of the most successful film franchises in history during his tenure as Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group President, including “The Dark Knight” trilogy, the “Hangover” series, “Inception” and Best Picture winner “Argo.”

Now at the head of Studio 8, funded by the Fosun Group, Robinov handles $1 billion in financing for a reported slate of 25 films — that’s set up at Sony for distribution. He has the in and the experience.

steve mosko viacom sony

Steve Mosko

Mosko, the former Chairman of Sony Pictures Television, grew the brand’s small-screen business into a powerhouse of talent and content. He departed this summer in a move that didn’t necessarily surprise Sony insiders, given his chilly relationship with Lynton. But Mosko doesn’t have a new gig yet — despite sniffing around a Tribune Company acquisition in June, and would likely be a welcome return to Culver City. Mosko also has the salesmanship and charm for the top job.

 "How to Train Your Dragon 2" Photocall - The 67th Annual Cannes Film FestivalJeffrey Katzenberg

Never one for idle hands, Katzenberg isn’t going to go fly fishing for the rest of his days after the recent unloading of his DreamWorks Animation to NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion. Katzenberg has survived many years in a volatile business, is iconic in the clubby circles of Hollywood and is a decisive leader.

Jim Gianopulos

Jim Gianopulos

The elder statesman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, for which he served as CEO and Chairman until this September when Stacey Snider took the reigns, is in a similar position as Katzenberg: a lot of experience and a lot of time on his hands. Gianopulos was expected to remain an advisor to Snider at Fox, but he’s since stepped away entirely.

tom freston viacom

Tom Freston

The former Viacom CEO is more than comfortable with the scale of Sony. He’s been out of the game for a while, but showed off his vision (and his teeth) in June when blasting then-Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman for a soulless, litigious kind of leadership.