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Hilary 'BUSH' to Resign as RIAA Head
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-23
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Few individuals in the music industry are more vilified than RIAA Chairperson and CEO Hilary Rosen. Of course, the position inherently comes with a bull's eye for every industry critic. Nor has she presided over a particularly easy period for the industry and organization. As the recording industry's chief advocate and spokesperson for the last five years, she has seen upstarts challenge the record labels' relevancy, confronted artist-led revolts, witnessed falling share prices and CD sales, dueled with tech companies ranging from Gateway to Verizon, while facing off with the file sharing craze and its 'enfant terrible,' Napster.

So how has Hilary done, all things said? On many levels, she has demonstrated all the attributes of a successful industry leader: delivering a strong, consistent and clear message, effective lobbying down the halls of Congress, knowing when to cut her losses and shielding her organization's members from critics. But the position is not (or should not) simply be one of 'blind' advocacy, but of reaching out to outside stakeholders in order to listen to their concerns & find common ground that would help advance the organization and members' goals. In some sense, the job calls for the diplomatic skills of a Colin Powell rather than chest-thumping of a Donald Rumsfeld.

The recent agreement reached with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) aside, her tenure has been characterized by mostly confrontation and conflict. It almost seemed at times that she would go out of her way to antagonize parties the industry depends on such as webcasters or the all-important consumer. The point was probably best illustrated to me by Manfred Tari, founder of Pop100.de, who nicknames her Hilary 'Bush' in recognition of that unilateral, one-track, war-like obsessive nature she shares with the President.

All in all, I giver her a C+.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Rosen Announces Plans - Chair/CEO To Leave At End Of 2003


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