Michael Lynton has his wife to thank for his job as chairman of Snap — and all it took was an email to customer service.
Lyton told attendees at the Lerer Hippeau Ventures CEO Summit in New York on Tuesday that he and his wife Jamie Alter had observed their children using Snapchat. His wife especially liked how it was getting her kids to communicate one-on-one again — so she wrote the company an email.
However, she didn't even direct it to CEO Evan Spiegel: She emailed customer service. Soon, she was corresponding with Spiegel and invited him over for dinner.
"He was at our house one hour later," Lynton said laughing.
It helped that Lynton is the outgoing CEO of Sony Entertainment, expected to step down later this year. He was the executive at the helm when Sony was attacked by hackers allegedly from North Korea for its film "The Interview," which lead to the leaking of personal employee information and private emails.
Spiegel impressed Lynton from the beginning, especially how he had a vision to grow the company. It wasn't easy since Spiegel wanted to keep the company in southern California, and for a while it was difficult to recruit engineers, Lynton said. However, he believes Snap is a unique company that can compete with Facebook by owning the camera the same way Google owns the search bar.
"When you open Snap, you're in the camera," Lynton said. "That gives you a big field to play on,."
Lynton also spoke about the lessons he learned from the Sony hack, with one main take away being that he no longer trusts storing things in electronic systems. Every ten days he has his email downloaded into a hard disk. And, he's making sure Snap uses similar rules.
"For the most part yes, [we do] not put things in the system," he said.
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