Thursday, 5 February 2015

Amy Pascal Steps Down as Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman After Cyber Attacks

Amy Pascal is stepping down from her position as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.  

The 56-year-old business executive will launch a major new production venture at the studio, according to a press release. The shake-up announcement comes amid the fallout from the company's hacking crisis--the recent cyber-attack which saw a number of private emails released, many of which were particularly damning for Pascal. 

"I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home," the businesswoman, who joined Columbia Pictures in 1988, said in a statement. "I have always wanted to be a producer. Michael and I have been talking about this transition for quite some time and I am grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to pursue my long-held dream and for providing unparalleled support.  

"As the slate for the next 2 years has come together, it felt like the right time to transition into this new role," she continued. "I am so grateful to my team, some of whom I have worked with for the last 20 years and others who have joined more recently. I am leaving the studio in great hands. I am so proud of what we have all done together and I look forward to a whole lot more."

Per the release, SPE will finance Pascal's venture as part of a four-year agreement and "retain all distribution rights worldwide to films financed." The release also states that Pascal will transition to the new venture in May, which will be located at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. 

NEWS: FBI concludes North Korea government was responsible for Sony hack

"Amy's creativity, drive, and bold choices helped define SPE as a studio where talented individuals could take chances and push boundaries in order to deliver outstanding entertainment," Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, said in a statement. "The studio's legacy is due in large part to Amy's passion for storytelling and love of this industry. I am delighted that Amy will be continuing her association with SPE through this new venture, which capitalizes on her extraordinary talents.  In recent months, SPE faced some unprecedented challenges, and I am grateful for Amy's resilience and grace during this period. Amy has been a great partner to me in heading the studio and I am looking forward to a continued close working relationship with her in her new role on the lot." 

Under Pascal's leadership, the studio has released a number of successful films including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, The Da Vinci Code, the Spider-man film series, Girl Interrupted, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Captain Phillips, Moneyball, American Hustle, Zero Dark Thirty, Groundhog Day, The Social Network and The Interview.

In December, Pascal and producer Scott Rudin apologized for their "insensitive" remarks in a series of leaked emails in which the two reportedly made cracks about what kind of "black" movies President Barack Obama might like.

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