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Amy Pascal Out As Sony Pictures Chairman

Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, one of Hollywood's longest-serving studio heads and one of its most prominent female executives, is leaving her job, the studio said in a statement.

She will "launch a major new production venture at the studio," the statement said. "Pascal will transition to the new venture in May 2015."

The Hollywood Reporter says that such a transition is "often ... the case with ousted studio heads."

Pascal's departure comes shortly after Sony was hit by a major cyberattack last year — one that exposed its employees' personal data as well as her email correspondence. Messages between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin joked about what they said were President Obama's taste in films. The leaks were apparently linked to the release of The Interview, a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korea's leader.

The Hollywood Reporter adds:

"Pascal, who also held the title of SPE Motion Picture Group, is exiting the studio that she started at in 1988, rising to the top post that she shared with SPE chairman and CEO Michael Lynton. Together, the pair oversaw all of SPE's lines of business, including film production, acquisition and distribution; TV production, acquisition and distribution; TV networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies."

The trade publication adds that Pascal had steered Sony to commercial success, with movies like Casino Royale and The Da Vinci Code, as well as critical acclaim, with films such as Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle. But Sony had a terrible 2013, with major flops including White House Down.

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