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Lobbyist named next CEO of music industry group

Mitch Glazier to become head of Recording Industry Association of America in 2019, succeeding Cary Sherman

Glazier and ShermanGlazier (left) and Sherman 

April 14, 2017
By Walt Williams
     
The Recording Industry Association of America has tapped its lobbyist to succeed current CEO Cary Sherman following his retirement at the end of next year.

Mitch Glazier will lead the $26 million-revenue RIAA starting in 2019, the music industry association announced April 3. Glazier most recently was senior executive vice president of the organization, a position from which he led the association’s public policy and industry teams. He was promoted to president in preparation for the transition.

“Mitch brings that rare combination of policy chops, political sophistication and a forward-looking view of the business that we need to succeed,” RIAA board member Jeffrey Harleston said in statement.

Glazier first joined RIAA in 2000. He previously was chief counsel for the Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before that, he was an associate specializing in commercial litigation for law firm Neal, Gerber and Eisenberg.

The incoming CEO will lead a group that has often clashed with the tech industry and even many consumers in recent years over alleged copyright infringement of songs. The music industry it represents has been hit hard by online piracy of its products.

RIAA first tried suing consumers who had been caught illegally downloading music, but the group abandoned that strategy in 2009 and in recent years has focused its legal strategy on the websites and platforms that make piracy possible.

The group also was dealt a policy blow in 2012 when Congress killed the Stop Online Piracy Act after Google, Wikipedia and other online sites led an “internet blackout” to protest the legislation. RIAA had been one of the chief backers of the bill.

As for Glazier, he will be the second “Mitch” to lead RIAA in recent years. Mitch Bainwol, now CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, led the group from 2003-2011. He was succeeded by Sherman, who was president of the organization throughout Bainwol’s tenure.

Sherman joined RIAA as general counsel in 1997, having previously been a senior partner in the law firm Arnold & Porter for 26 years.

“Cary is an industry thought leader with a deep knowledge of our business, and has played a key role in many of the industry’s strides and accomplishments over the past three decades,” said Neil Portnow, CEO of The Recording Academy, which produces the Grammy Awards.

“We are fortunate to have his highly respected and thoughtful leadership through the end of 2018, and offer our sincere congratulations and best wishes to Mitch on his promotion.”