MPAA’s Top Lobbyist Michael O’Leary Exiting

Michael O’Leary, Senior EVP for Global Policy and External Affairs at the MPAA, will exit at the end of June, staying on as an an adviser during the transition. O’Leary joined the Hollywood lobby group in 2005 and was promoted to his current position in 2011. He was also on the MPAA Board Of Directors, and helped build the organization’s domestic lobby team in Washington DC. Prior to joining, he was deputy chief for intellectual property in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tech Activists Protest SOPA And PIPA BillsDuring O’Leary’s tenure the MPAA led the fight for two highly controversial anti-piracy bills known as Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Entertainment and media companies pushed the bills hard, but their prospects collapsed in the face of vociferous opposition online and off organized by the tech industry and privacy advocates. SOPA would have enabled the government to block overseas websites that traffic in copyright-infringing content.


O’Leary also helped the effort that led China to increase its quota on movie imports to 34 from 20. In addition, he was instrumental in securing federal and state tax incentives to keep TV and film production in the U.S.

“Having accomplished most of my goals at the MPAA, I am excited to move onto new career challenges,” O’Leary says. He plans to “take some time in deciding on his next endeavor,” the trade group says.

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