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Two days after breaking his silence on the massive hack attack, Sony Corp. CEO Kaz Hirai has offered profuse thanks to the employees of the Culver City studio.

“I recognize the events over the last several weeks have been extremely challenging for each of you, both personally and professionally,” Hirai said in an email sent Wednesday. “Your resourcefulness and creativity during this time have been truly extraordinary.”

Hirai spoke publicly about the cyber-attack that brought the studio to its knees and “The Interview” for the first time on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The studio announced Tuesday that it had made $31 million in online and video-on-demand revenues through the first week and a half of release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy, which has also generated more than $5 million in limited theatrical release.

“I know that many of you have worked tirelessly – in some cases 24 hours a day for days on end – both to help the studio recover and to bring ‘The Interview’ to audiences here in the United States and in Canada, across online venues, as well as in motion picture theaters across the United States and Canada,” Hirai said.

Here’s the entire message:

Welcome back from the holiday break and Happy New Year.

I recognize the events over the last several weeks have been extremely challenging for each of you, both personally and professionally. Your resourcefulness and creativity during this time have been truly extraordinary.

I talked about the Sony Pictures cyber-attack at our Consumer Electronics Show press conference in Las Vegas on Monday and wanted to share what I said with you.

I told the world how proud I am of all of the employees of Sony Pictures for standing up against the extortionist efforts of those criminals that attacked Sony Pictures. I know that many of you have worked tirelessly – in some cases 24 hours a day for days on end – both to help the studio recover and to bring /The Interview/ to audiences here in the United States and in Canada, across online venues, as well as in motion picture theaters across the United States and Canada.

I also thanked the partners who made this release possible, and the people who have viewed the movie in theaters or through various online venues.

Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association are the lifeblood of Sony and our entertainment businesses. Because of your efforts and those of our distribution partners, /The Interview/ is now available for audiences to enjoy through multiple online venues; through our satellite, telecom, and our cable partners; and, as the first of this month in more than 580 independent theaters.

I look forward to Sony Pictures emerging from this experience stronger than ever.

I will be at the studio today and look forward to seeing and talking with some of you while I am there.

Kaz

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