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Gallagher to leave Entertainment Software Association

CEO has led video game association since 2007; search for successor to begin later this month

Oct. 4, 2018
By Walt Williams

Mike Gallagher will step down as CEO of the $37 million-revenue Entertainment Software Association later this month, the group announced Wednesday.

Gallagher has led ESA since 2007.  The association advocates on behalf of the video game industry before both lawmakers and the courts, and in 2011 won a significant victory when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law restricting sales of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors.  ESA also is the producer of E3, an annual video game trade show that is one of the most watched events in the entertainment world.

“Under Mike’s leadership, ESA has developed a strong reputation with policymakers for vigorously defending the industry during watershed moments, including the industry’s victory on First Amendment principles before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Robert Altman, chairman of ESA’s board of directors, said in a statement. “Mike was also instrumental in revitalizing E3 into the most prominent and important industry show produced today.”

Before joining ESA, Gallagher was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s assistant secretary for communications and information, acting as chief telecommunications and internet policy advisor. He previously was Communications Practice chair at the law firm Perkins Coie. He has a law degree from UCLA.

Gallagher earned more than $1.3 million in 2017, according to tax records.

Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA’s senior vice president and general counsel, will become ESA’s interim CEO following Gallagher’s departure. Board members will launch a search for a new CEO later this month, according to the association.