The Motion Picture Association of America, lobbyist for Hollywood’s largest studios, named former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd as chairman and chief executive officer.
Dodd, 66, will begin on March 17, replacing Dan Glickman, who left in April to become president of Refugees International, the MPAA said today in a statement.
Dodd will assume his new role as studios are seeking federal help in curbing Internet piracy and getting wider access for their movies in foreign markets. The MPAA is backing a Senate bill that would give the Justice Department more power to seize domain names and cut credit-card payments to websites that illegally distribute movies and television shows.
“There are challenges here, and significant ones,” Dodd said today in a telephone interview. He said the global pressures on the industry, “which for many years has had an unchallenged position, are going to need addressing.”
As a former senator Dodd must wait two years before personally lobbying anyone in Congress. Federal laws don’t prohibit him from guiding MPAA lobbying efforts or meeting with members of other branches of government.
Dodd, who said last year that he wasn’t interested in a lobbying job after leaving the Senate, said his new job involved broader responsibilities.
Not on ‘Radar’
“At that time, this job wasn’t even on the radar screen,” Dodd said.
The association held discussions last year to give its top post to former Senator Bob Kerrey, now president of New School University in New York. Bob Pisano, the association’s president, has been acting chief executive since Glickman left.
The MPAA represents Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, Sony Corp., News Corp., NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., according to the association’s website.
Dodd first served as senator from Connecticut in 1981, continuing 30 years before ending his term in January. Kerry served as senator from Nebraska from 1989 to 2000. Prior to that, he was governor of the state.