Dan Glickman will step down as chairman of the Motion Picture Assn. of America in April to become president of Refugees International, departing his post at the industry’s chief lobbying arm several months earlier than planned.
Bob Pisano, the MPAA’s president and chief operating officer, will become interim CEO as the search continues for Glickman’s replacement.
Glickman announced last year that he would resign his post, which he has held since 2004, when his contract expired in September. But he also indicated his desire to work in the non-profit sector, perhaps on world hunger issues, having served as secretary of agriculture during the Clinton administration.
A bevy of names have been mentioned as possible permanent successors, including Pisano, but the MPAA has recently engaged Los Angeles exec recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International to compile a list. The position is viewed as one of Washington’s most prized lobbying posts, with a high salary and, by D.C. standards, a certain luster. But it’s also got its challenges, first and foremost being the ability to find consensus among highly competitive studio heads, who often have conflicting agendas, as well as upheaval among the MPAA staff.
Glickman issued a statement thanking studio CEOs and others at the MPAA, and said of his tenure, “We have fought vigorously on behalf of the 2.4 million Americans and other workers throughout the world whose jobs are based on a vibrant film and television business. This is a powerful medium that can help make a difference, and I will always value my time here. For me, perhaps the best thing about the job was the movies. I love movies. And as far as I am concerned, we make the best movies in the world.”
Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Fox Film Entertainment, said in a statement that Glickman “served as an incredibly skillful and dedicated advocate for the issues that are most important to the film and television industries — global market access, copyright protection and ensuring an overall healthy future for our collective businesses.” Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger and Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Barry Meyer also issued statements of praise.
Refugees International is a leading advocacy organization on refugee crises worldwide, and in announcing his arrival as its new president noted Glickman’s “long history of public service, fighting hunger and helping underserved people in the U.S. and around the world.”
Pisano has served as president and COO of MPAA since October 2005, and is among the members on its board of directors. Before joining the org, he was national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild, and previously held high-level posts at MGM and Paramount.