Amy Pascal is stepping down as the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The business executive, who has attracted lots of headlines in recent months following the hacking and publication by 'Guardians of Peace' of private emails, is also stepping down as chairman of Sony's motion picture group, but is to remain with the company.

In May, Pascal will take control of a new production firm, with Sony retaining the worldwide distribution rights to the company's output, Variety reports.

In a statement, Pascal explained: ''I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures, and I am energised to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home. I have always wanted to be a producer.''

In one of the leaked emails, Pascal was involved in an exchange with movie producer Scott Rudin in which he described Angelina Jolie as a ''minimally talented spoiled brat''.

Jolie apparently wanted director David Fincher to be detached from the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic and instead be put in charge of her Cleopatra movie.

Pascal apparently replied: ''She is upset about us giving David Jobs. She wants to talk. She'll survive it. I don't want to waste my time on this.''