Hollywood will be getting a new chief lobbyist in Washington.
Former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, who has been chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America for the past six years, will step down by the end of the year, the MPAA said Friday.
The MPAA is the primary Washington organization representing major studios. It spent $2.6 million lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Dodd spent 30 years in the Senate and served as chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee. He announced his retirement in 2010.
Dodd’s successor will be Charles Rivkin, who most recently served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs from 2014 to 2017. He also spent two decades in the entertainment business, including time as CEO of The Jim Henson Company, which is best known for the Muppets franchise.
Rivkin will join the MPAA on September 5. The trade group says he and Dodd will “work together to complete the transition by the beginning of next year.”
The MPAA credited Dodd with helping the group adapt to the Internet age, fight piracy in the United States and abroad, and help to get more American-made productions into the Chinese market, which is the largest in the world.
Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, noted that more than 70% of box office revenue is now made overseas. He said Dodd helped the trade group broaden its focus.
“Chris has transformed the MPAA into a global association for the digital era and dramatically increased access around the world for U.S. films and television programming,” Horn said in a statement.
CNNMoney (New York) First published April 28, 2017: 7:18 PM ET