MPAA top lobbyist Michael O'Leary to resign

MPAA top lobbyist Michael O'Leary to resign
Michael O'Leary, the top lobbyist for the MPAA, is leaving the trade group after nine years. (MPAA)

Michael O'Leary, the top lobbyist with the Motion Picture Assn. of America, is stepping down.

The MPAA said O'Leary, senior vice president for global policy and external affairs, will leave the MPAA at the end of June after nine years on the job.

The trade group, which lobbies on behalf of the major Hollywood studios, did not give a reason for O'Leary's pending departure. His exit comes 18 months after the MPAA appointed former Neustar executive Diane Strahan as chief operating officer.

O'Leary was not available for an interview, but in a statement he said he was leaving of his own accord.

"Having accomplished most of my goals at the MPAA, I am excited to move on to new career challenges," he said. "It is difficult to leave a place after nine great years, but the time is right. I will miss working with so many talented people, but I am very proud of my time at the MPAA and everything we accomplished together."

O'Leary joined the MPAA in 2005. He led the creation of the MPAA's global policy team handling the association's policy efforts around the world. He oversaw lobbying for international trade agreements and worked with staff in regional offices around the country to promote film tax credits and rebates.

He also was a key architect of the strategy to reach out to payment processors, advertising networks, search engines, and Internet service providers to curb online piracy.

"I want to thank Michael for his tireless commitment to this association and the creative community and for his leadership here for so many years," MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd said in a statement.

The MPAA has begun a search for a successor to O'Leary, who will assume an advisory role during the transition, a spokesman for the group said.