Fisher the Ideal Candidate for EMA President25 Oct, 2012 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Succession planning can be difficult, but in the Entertainment Merchants Association’s case, selecting a successor for retiring president and CEO Crossan “Bo” Andersen should be a snap.
Mark Fisher, the association’s EVP and Andersen’s right-hand man, will serve as interim president until an executive search is completed and a permanent successor is in place, board chairman Bob Geistman told Home Media Magazine.
I sincerely hope the board picks Fisher for the job.
It’s not that Fisher deserves the job, after all his years of service to the EMA.
It’s that the association’s membership deserves Mark Fisher.
Andersen has done an outstanding job keeping the EMA alive all these years. He took over as president of what was then the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in 1999 and over the years has done his best to keep the trade group relevant. Under his watch the VSDA broadened representation from its independent video store base to include major retail players like Target, Costco and Best Buy. Andersen also in 2006 orchestrated the merger of the VSDA with the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, bringing video game dealers into the fold.
As consolidation continued to grip our industry, Andersen wisely concentrated more and more on legislative issues common to all classes of retailer, including the fight against video piracy, protecting consumer privacy and battling censorship.
Fisher is poised to take the EMA to the proverbial “next level.” He joined the association in 1999 after many years in retailing, running a division of video stores for Stop & Shop and then serving as senior vice president of operations at publicly held West Coast Entertainment. During his retail years, Fisher earned a reputation for being a demanding but fair manager, being driven to grow both the top line and the bottom line, and being creative both in merchandising and marketing.
In recent years, while Andersen held down the fort, Fisher ventured into new territory. He’s led EMA’s growth in the digital distribution space, recognizing that collaboration among members toward standards and common specifications will help to both grow consumer digital spending and cut distribution costs.
That shows Fisher’s foresight and ability to flex with the industry, which coupled with his many close relationships among studios as well as retailers, makes him the ideal candidate to succeed Andersen on a permanent basis.
His experience, reputation, relationships and vision are exactly what the EMA needs in today’s era of continued consolidation, when financial stability is critical but so is our ability as an industry to develop and capitalize on creative growth opportunities.