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Pascal Stepping Down As Sony Co-Chair

Three months after a massive cyber-attack against the studios and controversy surrounding the release of "The Interview," studio announces a deal for Pascal to start a new venture.

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Three months after Sony Pictures Entertainment was the victim of a massive hack, studio co-chairman Amy Pascal is stepping down.

The studio said in a release Thursday Pascal will be launching a new venture at the studio.

Longtime studio head Pascal was heavily criticized after a cyber attack on the studio, allegedly by North Korea, which was angered by the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” which depicted the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un.

The massive data breach revealed thousands of emails, including exchanges between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin that contained insensitive comments regarding President Barack Obama.

The studio also flip-flopped on what to do with the release of “The Interview” in the wake of the scandal after several large theater chains said it was too risky to show the film in the wake of threats against any venues that did so.

After an uproar and backlash against a decision to hold the film, it was released through independent theaters and through a multi-platform online campaign.

Pascal’s new role includes a 4-year agreement to launch her own company that will focus on movies, television and theater.

"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," said Pascal, in a statement released by Sony. "I have always wanted to be a producer."

Pascal joined the studio in 1988 and presided over a largely successful period for the studio.

"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," Chief Executive Michael Lynton said in a statement.

"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 will transition to the new role in May. The new venture will be based at Sony's Culver City studios.

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