Hilary Rosen Stepping Down As Head Of RIAA

Industry group's CEO leaving her post at end of 2003.

Hilary Rosen, the music industry lobbyist who played a major role in shutting down Napster, is leaving her position as chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America at the end of 2003.

The RIAA leader since 1998 said on Wednesday (January 22) that she plans to devote more time to her children.

"This has been an extremely difficult decision, but I know it is the right one for my family," Rosen said in a statement. "Nonetheless, this is a critical time, and I have much to do in the coming months. We continue to face unprecedented levels of online piracy as well as a changing market in physical piracy here and abroad."

During her 17-year tenure with the RIAA, Rosen was a strong proponent of Internet copyright laws and aided her organization in winning cases against Napster (see "RIAA Sues Napster, Claiming 'Music Piracy' "), Aimster and, just this week, Verizon (see "Judge Orders Internet Provider To Identify File Trader").

She has also represented the major record labels in their battles over recording contracts and other artist disputes with groups like the Recording Artists Coalition, which includes Don Henley, No Doubt, Beck and hundreds of others.

RIAA President Cary Sherman will remain in his current position and join the board of directors in searching for Rosen's replacement.

"This has been the most exciting job I can imagine," said Rosen, who is also a founding member of Rock the Vote and a board member of the Musicians Assistance Program for addiction recovery. "During my time here, the recording industry has undergone dramatic challenges and is well positioned for future success. I have been extremely proud to have been a part of this industry transition."