Sony Pictures taps Tom Rothman to run motion picture group

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment on Tuesday named long-time industry executive Tom Rothman as chairman of its motion picture group after Amy Pascal leaves the post in the wake of embarrassing emails.

Rothman, 60, has been chairman of TriStar Productions, a joint film and television venture with Sony, since 2013. He previously was at Fox Filmed Entertainment, where he was involved in bringing "Titanic" and "Avatar," the two top-grossing films of all time, to the screen.

The entertainment arm of Sony Corp said that Michael Lynton would remain its chairman and chief executive officer under an extension of his contract. Rothman will report directly to him.

"Tom’s creativity, strong talent relationships and track record of enduring films and commercial success are unparalleled in this industry and exactly what we are looking for to grow our film business," Lynton said in a statement.

Pascal and Lynton announced this month that she was stepping down as studio chief and moving in May to a production deal on the lot with Sony's financial backing.

The executive shuffle comes after hackers launched a devastating cyberattack on the studio in November, angered by the Sony Pictures comedy "The Interview," which depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Pascal, who championed the film, suffered a huge setback when the hackers leaked damaging emails between her and other Hollywood executives.

(Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)