Exactly three weeks after the devastating hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton today addressed the company’s employees in a series of All Hands town hall meetings on the Culver City lot. Originally scheduled for Friday, the meeting, split into two, was pushed to today because of the powerful rain storm. However, I hear not all of the roughly half of the SPT workforce slated to be at the first assembly made it in, with hundreds left to wait outside. I hear the meetings, each consisting of about 20 minutes, included a brief introduction by SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal who addressed her leaked emails, apologizing for some of her remarks.
Lynton then spoke to the crowd, again underscoring how terrible and humiliating for everyone has been to have private emails put out in the open.
While media attention has focused on the top Sony executives whose emails were leaked as part of the massive hacking operation, the company’s rank and file have been profoundly affected by the security breach as their personal information was stolen and made public, including, in some cases, medical history.
“I am incredibly sorry that you had had to go thought this,” Lynton said.
He would not discuss specifics about the ongoing investigation into the hack but stressed that it is being handled by the highest ranks of the FBI on a global level.
Lynton then rallied the troops, praising everyone for “coming together” in the face of adversity. “Our business has a strong economic foundation,” he said. “This won’t take us down.”
With four days until the holiday break, Lynton urged staffers to go spend time with their families.
There was no mention of looming deadline set by the hackers or measures taken to help current and former employees with the damage caused by the leaks. SPE staff had been asked to submit questions beforehand via email. The town hall format involves a Q&A portion. I hear today’s didn’t though Lynton promised that the leadership will try and answer all questions posed by employees.
The All Hands meetings are held as SPE staff, already reeling from the repercussions from hackers’ data dumps to date, are bracing for more. In a recent post signed by the organization claiming to be behind the hacking, they promise a “Christmas gift to come” of “more interesting” data that will “put Sony Pictures into the worst state.” There was no mention of that threat at today’s meetings.