Sony Pictures co-chair embarrassed by leaked emails will step down soon

The Sony fallout continues.


Kevin Collier


Published Feb 5, 2015   Updated Mar 1, 2020, 10:54 am CST

A Sony executive who was famously embarrassed when her emails were leaked in a major hack will reportedly step down.

Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, whom the New York Times said was regarded as “the film industry’s top female executive,” will leave the company in May, the Times reported Thursday.

Though the scope of the Sony breach was massive, Pascal’s emails to her colleagues were among the most widely discussed leaked material. In fact, the emails embarrassed Sony so much that the company tried unsuccessfully to shut down one particular Twitter account that posted highlights from them.

Pascal didn’t come off particularly poorly in the emails. One of them revealed that she was annoyed at Cameron Crowe for being slow to reply. Another seemed to confirm the production of Pineapple Express 2.

In some of the internal squabbles, Pascal was on the receiving end of highly inappropriate remarks. In one email chain, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton berated her in a manner that seemed dismissive of sexual assault victims. Lynton later recanted what he said in those emails, telling the Daily Dot, “My comment was in no way meant to suggest that sexual assault isn’t a profound and serious issue that has to be dealt with.”

Still, Pascal went on an immediate public-relations tour after the breach, apologizing to film executives and actors for what she had said about them in what she thought was private correspondence.

The Sony hack itself remains shrouded in mystery. The White House and the FBI have declared it to be the work of North Korean hackers, but independent cybersecurity professionals are skeptical of that claim. Cybersecurity firm Taia Global recently concluded that Russia was actually behind the attack.

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Feb 5, 2015, 4:44 pm CST