Sony's Michael Lynton to Employees: "I Am Incredibly Sorry You Had to Go Through This"
In the wake of the cyberattack, the studio exec vowed, "This won't take us down."
“I am incredibly sorry that you had to go through this,” Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton told studio employees at town hall meetings held on the studio’s Culver City lot Monday to address the cyberattack.
Lynton was accompanied by co-chairman Amy Pascal, who spoke first at each of the two meetings, held at 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Soundstage 25, where there were lines out the door. Pascal offered apologies as well and also emphasized that racism isn't tolerated at Sony. Her heartfelt remarks drew applause from the assembled employees.
Lynton then spoke for about 15 minutes saying, “I realize the last few weeks have been incredibly stressful for all of us,” he said. “What has occurred at Sony is a systematic criminal attack on our staff and business.”
He went on to say, “Our business has a strong economic foundation,” and he vowed, “This won’t take us down.” He also asked employees not to read the stories that have been appearing in the media based on the stolen emails and other documents.
"Amy made what sounded like a serious apology," says one employee who attended. The employee noted that Lynton drew applause when he said that Sony would survive the attack, but some employees did complain afterwards that he didn't specifically address issues that concern them about their own personal information. Other employees, according to another source, wanted to ask what the studio was doing to prevent another attack and whether execs thought making The Interview was worth it given that that movie may have provoked the attack, but the meeting did not have time for questions.
The studio has offered current and former employees a free year of credit-card monitoring and fraud protection.
Representatives from the FBI did not speak at the meetings, although they are known to be on the lot, along with representatives from the cyber security firm Mandiant.
In the middle of his remarks, Lynton also added, "I am so proud to be part of this company."