LAS VEGAS, March 23 (UPI) -- Jack Valenti said in Las Vegas Tuesday he will retire this year as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Valenti's announcement at ShoWest, the annual national convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, came after months of speculation that he was planning to retire. The 83-year-old Valenti has served as the movie industry's top lobbyist since 1966.
"This is the time for me to depart as CEO," he told reporters. "I feel that in my gut."
Valenti said the MPAA expected to find someone to succeed him over the next two or three months. He also said he did not intend to completely disengage from the movie business, but he did not say what he had in mind.
"I look at this with mixed emotions," he said. "When you've done something for so long, it's very difficult to tear yourself away from it."