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Dec 29, 2014 12:25 PM EST

Sony Leaked Emails Reveal CEO Is Interested in Becoming NYU's Next President


Among the leaked emails resulting from a hacking attack on Sony, one note revealed that the company's chief operating officer was interested in becoming the next president of New York University.

According to BuzzFeed, Michael Lynton, Sony's CEO, expressed his interest in the job in multiple emails with family, colleagues and friends. John Sexton announced last year that he would be stepping down as NYU's president in 2016.

To his sister, Lynton wrote: "I know I don't fit the traditional candidate for the head of an elite university. But I've served on the boards of Harvard and the RAND Corporation, which has given me a high-level understanding of how institutions of higher learning operate."

Lynton later discussed the position with Kenji Yoshino, an NYU law professor who also sits on Harvard's board. Though the professor is not on the search committee for the next NYU president, he told Lynton in an email the school is looking for an academic leader. Yoshino indicated he spoke with search committee member Martin Lipton, a lawyer on Wall Street and the chair of NYU's board of trustees.

Lynton told Yoshino he would be good fit "because the institution is so large and complex that it would benefit from professional and compassionate management."

In Oct., BuzzFeed reported, Lynton spoke with his friend Malcolm Gladwell, who offered advice on how to present his candidacy to the NYU search committee.

Pointing to the faculty displeasure with Sexton, Gladwell wrote to Lynton [in his own style]: "The crucial thing is helping them see you as the nurturer and protector of creative types NOT the corporate empire builder, which they have all had enough of with sexton."

Spokespeople for NYU and Sony did not comment publicly on the matter, as the latter has consistently condemned the sharing of leaked information during the cyber attack. Lynton also did not respond to BuzzFeed's request for comment.

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