May 17, 2017

Ex-Sony CEO no longer keeps emails online

Jordan Strauss/Invision for SCEA/AP Images

Former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton spoke yesterday about North Korea's infamous 2014 hack of his company's systems, during an interview at the Lerer Hippeau Ventures CEO Summit in New York City. Takeaways:

  • Lesson learned: Lynton, now chairman of Snap, says that he no longer keeps emails online for more than 10 days, either deleting them or moving them to a non-networked hard drive. He believes that such strategies are important for companies to somehow mirror, even if it causes minor revolt among factions like sales.
  • Key to a crisis: He says it is essential that a CEO not delegate decisions during a crisis, and also that he or she project confidence to employees that they will all get through the danger together. Privately, however, Lynton had serious fears that Sony Entertainment would not survive.
  • Communication: One major challenge in the immediate aftermath was figuring out how to communicate with global employees, given that many of Sony's servers were down and it was unclear if corporate emails were still at risk. The make-shift solution was what Lynton called a "text messaging tree."
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