Amy Pascal, the Sony executive whose emails were leaked during the North Korean movie hacking saga, is stepping down, the Hollywood studio announced today.
Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, will launch a "major new production venture" at the studio, which was rocked by the hacking storm centred on the satirical film "The Interview." "I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energised to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home," she said in a company statement.
Leaked emails by Pascal included at least one racially -insensitive one referring to President Barack Obama, while another called Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat." "The Interview" was scheduled for a Christmas Day release before Sony became the target of the biggest cyberattack in US corporate history. Threats made by hackers prompted Sony to initially cancel its theatrical release.
It was eventually screened in select art house cinemas, and released on the Internet and via cable TV providers. Washington has blamed North Korea for the hack on Sony -- a claim Pyongyang has denied while still strongly condemning the film, which features a fictional plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong-un.
"The Interview," which had a USD 44 million budget, has since become Sony's highest-grossing online film ever, reportedly recently passing the USD 40 million mark on the Internet and other small-screen formats.