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Amy Pascal will step down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and start a production company at the studio that was hit by a major cyberattack last year, the company said on Thursday. The news of the departure of one of the most high-profile female studio executives in Hollywood comes two months after Pascal's emails were leaked by hackers, revealing embarrassing private conversations. But Pascal said she and Sony Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton had been discussing her transition to producer for "quite some time." "As the slate for the next 2 years has come together, it felt like the right time to transition into this new role," Pascal said in a statement from the company, adding "I am leaving the studio in great hands." Sony did not immediately disclose who would be filling her post. Pascal will start her new production venture in May 2015, focusing on film, television and theater, the studio said. As part of a four-year agreement, Sony Pictures will finance Pascal's venture and retain distribution rights to films financed.