MPAA Names New President, COO

Times Staff Writer

The Motion Picture Assn. of America on Thursday tapped veteran studio executive and former Screen Actors Guild Chief Executive A. Robert Pisano to be second in command.

As the MPAA’s president and chief operating officer, Pisano will run day-to-day operations for the trade group representing Hollywood studios, reporting to Chairman Dan Glickman. Pisano will be based in the MPAA’s Encino office, becoming the group’s top point person in Los Angeles.

“This is a big operation,” Glickman said. “We really need a chief operating officer.”

Glickman, a former congressman and Agriculture secretary, succeeded industry legend Jack Valenti last year. He said the MPAA’s growth and its myriad responsibilities -- including fighting piracy and censorship and forging relationships with Internet service providers -- required him to have a strong No. 2.


“Bob has a proven record and he’s well liked by the companies,” Glickman said.

Pisano most recently was national executive director and CEO of SAG, where he worked from 2001 until early this year.

He resigned from the actors’ union after repeatedly clashing with a faction of the guild that criticized him for not being tougher in negotiations with studios. But Pisano supporters credited him with making the union more efficient and bolstering its finances.

Before joining SAG, Pisano worked as a senior executive at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corp.


Pisano’s job, which starts Oct. 1, will not include overseeing external and governmental affairs in Washington.

One of his goals, Pisano said, will be to draw on his industry experience to better integrate the association’s global operations.

“I’ve spent 20 years in this industry, and the industry has been good to me,” said Pisano, 62. “I saw this as an opportunity to use that experience to benefit this unique American industry.”