RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol steps down

Trade group for the top labels announces that CEO Mitch Bainwol is leaving to take CEO job for automakers' trade group. RIAA President Cary Sherman will take over for Bainwol.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

Mitch Bainwol is out as chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group representing the four largest record labels.

Outgoing RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol Declan McCullagh

Bainwol is leaving to become CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The RIAA announced that Bainwol will be replaced by Cary Sherman, who has served as RIAA president since 2001, after joining the organization as general counsel in 1997.

CNET and Politico reported last month that Bainwol was being pursued by the automakers' trade group in recent weeks. He will now represent BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors in Washington.

Bainwol leaves following a series of important RIAA victories. The trade group, along with the Motion Picture Association of America, last month saw some of the country's largest Internet service providers, including Verizon and Comcast, agree to help discourage their subscribers from pirating music and movies. In extreme cases, where a subscriber repeatedly refuses to stop sharing copyright content online, the ISPs have even agreed to block the accused person's access to the Web.

The RIAA and MPAA lobbied ISPs for at least three years to adopt tougher measures.

The RIAA won a big copyright case against LimeWire, at one time one of the most popular peer-to-peer services for pirating music, and was successful at getting the network taken offline and winning a $105 million settlement from LimeWire's creator. The RIAA played a large role in winning the support for help in antipiracy efforts from Congress and the White House.

The Protect IP Act, a bill introduced into the Senate this year, is designed to hand the government increased powers to block access to sites allegedly trafficking in pirated or counterfeit goods.

The RIAA also announced that Mitch Glazier, who has spent the last 11 years as steering the RIAA's government relations group, has been appointed senior executive vice president.

Correction, 1:12 p.m. PT: This story initially misspelled the first name of RIAA President Cary Sherman.