For Immediate Release:
Andersen To Retire from EMA
President & CEO Served for 13 Years
ENCINO, CA (October 24, 2012) … Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) President and CEO Crossan “Bo” Andersen has decided to retire, effective November 15, 2012. The announcement was made by EMA Chair Bob Geistman.
Following Andersen’s decision, the Board appointed Mark Fisher, Executive Vice President of the Association, to serve as Interim President until an executive search is completed and a permanent successor is in place.
Bo Andersen joined what was then the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in 1995 as Vice President and General Counsel. He was appointed President in 1999 and subsequently was named President & CEO.
“After more than 13 years as CEO of this outstanding organization, I have decided that now is the right time for the Association to transition to new leadership,” Andersen said. “EMA is exceptionally well positioned to assist its members in responding to the newest challenges in retailing home entertainment. I am delighted with the Board’s decision to appoint Mark Fisher as Interim President and am truly grateful for the unwavering support and friendship of my colleagues at EMA for these many years.”
Bob Geistman, Board Chairman of EMA noted, “We are sorry that Bo will be leaving EMA, but respect his desire to retire and thank him for his exemplary leadership of the Association. He has managed EMA with skill, integrity and vision during a period of enormous transition in home entertainment, and all of us in the industry are beneficiaries of his efforts.”
When Andersen became President, VSDA was focused on independent video rental stores. Andersen led the transformation of the association to one that represents a broad segment of the entire home entertainment industry, encompassing major multi-line retailers, video specialty retailers, online video subscription services, video kiosk operators, video game retailers, and electronic sell-through and streaming retailers. In 2006 he accomplished the merger of VSDA with the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, the trade association for video game retailers, which led to the creation of EMA.
Andersen also kept EMA in the forefront of protection of the right to resell and rent home entertainment, fighting video piracy, and protecting consumer privacy. In addition, he was instrumental in battling censorship of home entertainment products. Notably, he oversaw the Association’s involvement in nine legal challenges to state and local laws that attempted to restrict minors’ access to violent video games. That effort successfully culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which firmly established First Amendment protection for video games.
Before joining VSDA in 1995, Andersen served as the anti-piracy legal director for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and, in that role, built much of MPAA’s criminal enforcement program, as well as its program of federal prosecution of cable and satellite “black box” manufacturers. Andersen also co-managed MPAA’s government relations in the areas of anti-piracy and copyright legislation.
Prior to his affiliation with the MPAA, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles. Andersen started his career as a Trial Attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. During his ten-year tenure with the Antitrust Division, he litigated a series of national price-fixing and corporate merger cases and supervised investigations in the motion picture industry.
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) is the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $35 billion home entertainment industry. EMA-member companies operate approximately 35,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 45,000 around the world that sell and/or rent DVDs, computer and console video games, and digitally distributed versions of these products. Membership comprises the full spectrum of retailers (from single-store specialists to multi-line mass merchants, and both brick and mortar and online stores), distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture studios, video game publishers, and other related businesses that constitute and support the home entertainment industry. EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).
[EDITOR: Photo of Andersen available on request.]
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