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Sony Corp. of America executive changes are official

March 29, 2012 |  3:40 pm

Michael Lynton, Amy Pascal and Howard Stringer
A shift in the top executive ranks of Sony's entertainment operations became official Thursday as studio chief Michael Lynton was named chief executive of Sony Corp. of America, effective June 27.

At the same time, Sony's electronics and video game units, which used to be part of Sony America, now report directly to the company's Japan headquarters. Lynton, who will remain chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City, will also take charge of Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Sony Music CEO Doug Morris and Sony/ATV Chairman Martin Bandier will report to Lynton in his new role.

At Sony America, Lynton replaces Howard Stringer, who is stepping down from his role as CEO of Sony Corp. in Tokyo and handing the reins to Kazuo Hirai on April 1.

The expected change puts all of Sony's entertainment assets under one executive answerable to the Hirai. If Sony wants to sell or spin off its entertainment assets, as has long been rumored, grouping them together could make that process simpler.

Nicole Seligman, previously executive vice president of Sony America, was named president. She will be responsible for operations at the New York headquarters of Sony's U.S. subsidiary. Both she and Lynton will report to Hirai.

In a statement, Hirai said Lynton and Seligman will be "key members of my management team."

Lynton pledged to pursue Sony's long-promised, and largely unfilled, goal of uniting the company's content and technology businesses.

"While the studio and the music companies are doing well, this remains an era of great change and challenge," Lynton said in a statement. "And so I know we will work more closely than ever with Sony's electronics and network businesses to bring the best possible entertainment experiences to people everywhere."

In another executive shuffle at Sony America, Rob Wiesenthal, who was executive vice president and chief financial officer, won't stay on to work with Lynton. He is transitioning to Sony/ATV, where Bandier named him president of international. In his new job, Weisenthal will overee the music publisher's operations outside North America and Britain, advise Bandier on business strategy and help with the integration of EMI Music publishing, which Sony/ATV and a consortium of investors recently agreed to buy.

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Sony organizational shake-up signals key shift in its priorities

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Michael Lynton, Amy Pascal and Howard Stringer in April. Credit: Evan Agostini / Getty Images

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