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Pisano to step down as MPAA prexy

Exec to leave in September

Bob Pisano will step down as president and chief operating officer of the MPAA at the end of September.

After Chris Dodd was named chairman-CEO in March, it was uncertain whether Pisano would stay with the org after his contract expired.

Pisano, who has been with the MPAA since 2005, served as interim CEO for over a year as studios searched for a successor to Dan Glickman. Pisano sought the permanent post, but the search committee concentrated their efforts on a star name in D.C. circles. Pisano will continue to serve as an adviser to the trade organization.

In an e-mail to the MPAA’s staff, Pisano said that “during the time I’ve worked at MPAA, I’ve been essentially a transcontinental commuter. I am delighted that Chris has asked me to act as an adviser after my official departure date, and I have told him I’m willing to help in any way that I can.”

Pisano is a well-known figure in Hollywood, having served as national executive director and CEO of the Screen Actors Guild and exec veep and then vice chairman at MGM.

Sources say Dodd does not plan on filling Pisano’s post, which was based in Los Angeles and created under Glickman in 2005. According to the MPAA’s 2009 filing with the IRS, the position paid close to $1 million in base salary, bonus and other compensation.

During Pisano’s time as interim CEO, he was a key figure in lobbying Congress to prohibit trading in so-called movie futures. The studios had resisted efforts by two companies to start exchanges that would trade in expectations of a movie’s box office performance. The ban on futures trading was included as part of the financial reform bill co-authored by Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Pisano said that he was also proud of his role in helping to bring the content community, represented by unions and guilds, into closer cooperation with the MPAA on issues like piracy, including major legislation pending in Congress to crack down on sites that traffic in infringing movies and TV shows. With his Hollywood experience, he also said that he was able to give “a strong sense of the industry” to the political trade org.

Dodd said in a statement, “Bob’s extensive ties to the entertainment community, both as a leading studio executive and as the leader of Hollywood’s largest labor union, have helped him forge new industry partnerships and have raised the profile of the MPAA’s programs both in the United States and abroad.”

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