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EMA President Bo Andersen to Retire

24 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Bo Andersen

Mark Fisher, EVP of EMA, will serve as interim president

Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) president and CEO Crossan “Bo” Andersen is retiring, effective Nov. 15, following 17 years with the home entertainment trade association.

Mark Fisher, EVP of EMA, will serve as interim president until an executive search is completed and a permanent successor is in place, according to board chairman Bob Geistman.

Andersen joined what was then the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in 1995 as VP and general counsel. He was appointed president in 1999 and subsequently named president and 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.”

When Andersen became president of the VSDA, the group was focused on independent video rental stores. Andersen led the transformation of the association to expand representation and a broader segment of the home entertainment industry, including major multi-line retailers, video specialty retailers, online video subscription services, video kiosk operators, video game retailers, and electronic sellthrough and streaming retailers.

In 2006 Andersen 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 at the forefront of protecting 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.

Geistman said he is sorry Andersen is leaving EMA and thanked him for his 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,” Geistman said.

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