Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal has quit her position in the aftermath of a huge cyber attack that saw private emails, social security numbers and internal documents exposed and whole networks being shut down.
The company was reportedly blackmailed by hackers and the affair led to accusations of North Korea being the culprits, especially given the country’s extremely negative reaction to what was then the upcoming release of a film depicting the death of the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un. The Interview was nonetheless eventually released online and will be shown in Cinemas from this weekend.
However, Pascal didn’t come out of the whole incident in a good light, with exposed emails apparently showing that she used racist language in internal communications about US President Barack Obama.
The incident apparently left her “in tears” and now, over two months on from the cyber attack, Pascal is set to step down as co-chair of Sony Pictures to start a production company, after over 20 years at the company.
“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. “I have always wanted to be a producer.”
Pascal added that she and Sony Pictures co-chair Michael Lynton had “been talking about this transition for quite some time”.
As part of the agreement, Sony will fund Pascal’s production company for the next four years and will have first rights over its films.
Despite the massive fallout from the cyber attack, Lynton – who for now operates as sole CEO of the organisation – has assured Sony staff that they shouldn’t worry about the future of the studio.
“The recent executive shakeup at Sony is clear evidence that security can have major business impact on companies,” Eric Chiu, president & co-founder o cloud security firm HyTrust.
“Similar to Target’s CEO and CIO that lost their jobs in the wake of the Target breach, Sony is seeing a similar executive shakeup,” he continued, before going on to warn that every CEO should ensure cyber security is a top priority.
“Sony has suffered major embarrassment from leaked emails, revenue loss from unreleased movies being put onto the internet and disruption of its business. Every board member, investor and CEO should take notice and make sure that security is a top priority in their organizations,” Chiu concluded.

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