Weeks after the Sony hack reached critical mass, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Thursday that co-chair Amy Pascal would leave her position to launch a "major new production venture at the studio." According to the release, Pascal will move to the role in May.
"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 a statement. "I have always wanted to be a producer. Michael [Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment] 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. 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."
According to the release, Pascal has a four-year agreement with Sony, and she'll "retain all distribution rights worldwide to films financed." Her offices will be located on the Sony lot in Culver City, California.
"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," Lynton said. "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."
Pascal came under fire at the end of 2014 after her emails were leaked online following a massive security breach at the studio. In one highly publicized correspondence, Pascal and producer Scott Rudin mocked the film tastes of President Barack Obama.
"The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am," Pascal said in a statement last year. "Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended."
Pascal was also part of a thread with Rudin where Angelina Jolie was heavily criticized.
The 56-year-old executive's new position was first reported by The Daily Mail. According to the site, Pascal's current contract with Sony Pictures is up in March. Per Deadline.com, it's unclear who will replace Pascal at this time.