Sony Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton, 57, will step down from his post to focus on his position as chairman of the board of Snap Inc., according to news reports from The New York Times, Deadline.com, and others.

Lynton gave a heads up to his employees prior to his resignation in a letter to his employees that was posted on Deadline Friday. “This was not an easy decision for me, and one that I arrived at after long and careful consideration,” Lynton said in the letter. “As some of you are already aware, I have been involved with Snapchat since its early days. Given Snapchat’s growth - and my growing role and responsibilities in it - I recently determined that the time was right to make a change.”

Kazuo Hirai, the president and chief executive of Sony Corp. based in Tokyo, will assume a more hands-on role at the company’s movie, television and music division, at least temporarily The New York Times reports that Lynton will step down on Feb. 2. The letter to employees says he plans to remain for 6 months to help with the transition.

Lynton’s departure comes at a time when Sony’s film operations, which includes the Columbia Screen Gems and TriStar labels, are suffering a reported dearth of breakout hits.

Reporter Diane Haithman can be reached at dhaithman@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman for the latest in L.A. business news.

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