friday, 6 february of 2015

Amy Pascal To Step Down As Sony Co-Chair Following ´The Interview´ Cyberattack

Amy Pascal announced Thursday she will step down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment following the November cyberattack on the studio in which hackers leaked thousands of email messages, including a number of embarrassing ones that Pascal had sent.

Pascal, whose contract is up in March, will remain at Sony as a producer. In a statement, she put a positive spin on news that many in the industry had believed was imminent. “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,” she said. “I have always wanted to be a producer. [Sony Entertainment CEO] Michael [Lynton] 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 two years has come together, it felt like the right time to transition into this new role.”

It is unclear who will succeed Pascal, who has been with the studio in various capacities since 1988, though a Deadline report suggested a possible candidate is Doug Belgrad, President of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group and President of Columbia Pictures.

Among the damaging email leaks were an exchange between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin in which the two joked that President Obama prefers films featuring African-Americans, and another in which Pascal compared the trend of movie stars appearing on television to Hollywood stars adopting black children.

Pascal, who has shaped Sony’s slate for decades, had green-lit The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as a talk-show host and producer who attempt to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, The FBI concluded that the cyberattack was conducted by North Korean hackers in retaliation for the film.

(Published by Forbes, February 5, 2015)

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