Chris Dodd is stepping down as head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Variety has confirmed. He will be replaced by Charles Rivkin, former assistant secretary of State for economic and business affairs under President Barack Obama.
Though less well known than Dodd, Rivkin boasts film business and Beltway ties. He was president of the Jim Henson Company and ambassador to France, and is considered to be well connected in Washington D.C.
Dodd, a former U.S. Senator from Connecticut, has led the movie business' lobbying arm since 2011. His tenure was controversial, and he was partly blamed for his handling of SOPA and PIPA, two anti-piracy bills that wilted in the face of public resistance. He was also criticized for remaining silent when Sony Pictures was hacked and damaging emails were leaked online in 2014.
The MPAA was caught flatfooted after news of Rivkin's appointment and Dodd's retirement was reported in the Los Angeles Times. Spokespeople for the organization were left scrambling to confirm the news.
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