Amy Pascal will step down as co-chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment, as reported by multiple outlets including The Hollywood Reporter. This move comes following last fall's well-publicized illegal email hack against Sony.
According to the THR, Pascal plans to launch a "major new production venture" -- not unusual for "ousted" studio execs -- at Sony in May, with her current contract up in March. The new production deal is under a four-year agreement with Sony, who will finance and retain worldwide distribution. Pascal will serve as a producer on both the new Ghostbusters movie and future Amazing Spider-Man installments.
"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. [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."
"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," Lynton said in a statement.
Starting at Sony in 1988, Pascal is one of Hollywood's longest-serving studio heads, becoming chairman of SPE's Motion Picture Group in 2003. Under her watch, Sony produced successes including The Da Vinci Code, The Social Network, the Spider-Man franchise and Skyfall.
In the Sony email hack, where a slew of highly sensitive confidential information was released, thousands of emails involving Pascal surfaced, including comments widely deemed racially insensitive, and negative words towards stars such as Angelina Jolie and Michael Fassbender.