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Amy Pascal Stepping Down as Sony Pictures Entertainment Chair After Leaked Emails in Hack

Amy Pascal

She’s out. Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal is stepping down from the position, the studio confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, Feb. 5.

The longtime leader of the studio (who joined in 1988) will still remain with Sony Pictures Entertainment as part of her own personal upcoming venture. Pascal’s new endeavor will be backed by Sony for four years, and will located in the studio’s lot in Culver City, Calif.

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“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,” Pascal said in her 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. 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.”

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Pascal’s exit from her executive position comes after last year’s crippling Sony emails hack, which left her — in particular — exposed in exchanges with top producers, stars, and more. It was later confirmed by the FBI that North Korea was behind the massive security breach, which coincided with the release of Kim Jong-un-skewering comedy The Interview.

Pascal was at the center of several incendiary email exchanges leaked from the hack, including one in which she and power producer Scott Rudin joked about President Barack Obama‘s race. The Hollywood execs later had to issue apologies for their remarks.

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Rudin equally found himself in a compromising position after emails about Angelina Jolie‘s upcoming Cleopatra project prompted him to blast Brad Pitt’s wife as a “minimally talented spoiled brat.”

Amy Pascal and Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie and Amy Pascal attend the Sony Pictures Classic 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Party in 2011.

Other Tinseltown heavyweights to be affected by the hack included Kevin Hart, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney (who memorably predicted the hack in one email), Channing Tatum (who also famously celebrated his 22 Jump Street success with a series of caps-lock letters), Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, and more.

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Pascal — who oversaw Sony’s main studio — is best known for giving the green light to immensely successful films including the Spider-Man franchise, the latest James Bond movies, and acclaimed Oscar nominees Zero Dark Thirty, The Social Network, and Moneyball.

“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,” Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said in the release. “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.”

According to Sony, her transition will take place in May 2015.

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