Amy Pascal to step down from Sony's top post

Los Angeles - Amy Pascal is stepping down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment following the hacking crisis at the studio that saw the leak of several private emails.

Pascal's exit from the post was widely expected in the aftermath of the scandal that saw the studio facing a disabling cyberattack which was done to protest the release of 'The Interview', which mocks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

She was the obvious target of the hackers, who leaked several embarrassing conversations between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin where they discussed President Barack Obama's assumed interest in movies starring black actors and made some unflattering comments about Angelina Jolie.

Pascal, whose contract was up in March, will now launch a major new production venture at the studio by May, said the Hollywood Reporter.

She will serve as a producer on the new 'Ghostbusters movie as well as on Amazing Spider-Man franchise.

"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 in a statement.

"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," Pascal said, adding it felt like the right time to make the transition.

Confirming the news, Lynton said, "I am happy to say that Amy's decision is not the end of her relationship with the studio but the start of a new and exciting chapter in her extraordinary career that promises to be mutually beneficial." PTI