The National Association of Theatre Owners has appointed Michael P. O’Leary to be its president and CEO beginning May 1. He will succeed John Fithian, who is retiring.
NATO board chairman and senior advisor, Marcus Corporation Rolando Rodriguez said, “On behalf of NATO’s executive board of directors, we are very pleased to name Michael O’Leary to lead NATO beginning May 1, following the retirement of current president and CEO John Fithian. Michael will be officially joining the NATO team on April 10th to work alongside John and the team for a successful transition. Michael brings with him extensive knowledge and strategic senior leadership, having worked with, and led teams within the broader entertainment industry both domestically and internationally. Michael has served in senior positions at the Entertainment Software Association, 21st Century Fox, the Motion Picture Association, on Capitol Hill and at the Department of Justice. With the help and support of our very talented NATO team, as well as our friends at the film companies, artistic community, and lawmakers, we will continue to grow back the motion picture theatre industry with Michael’s leadership.”
O’Leary said, “The cinematic experience is an enduring and dynamic part of the entertainment landscape in communities everywhere. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work with the leaders of this iconic global industry and the talented and dedicated team at NATO to chart its next chapter.”
The CEO transition comes at a critical time of change and opportunity for the global cinema industry. With cinema attendance rebounding around the world in lockstep with the supply of films, opportunity is at the forefront. NATO’s leadership, as the largest global organization of movie theatre owners with members representing more than 67,000 screens across the United States and around the world, plays a critical role advocating for the interests of theatre owners and the moviegoers they serve.
NATO’s long-standing commitment to promoting the movie theatre industry requires alliances and relationships uniting the interests of our customers, our employees, movie distributors, the creative community, and civic leaders and lawmakers. That leadership and advocacy is expressed through NATO, its industry-bridging Cinema Foundation, and through the Global Cinema Federation, which O’Leary will join as a member of its executive committee.
Rodriguez continued, “Also on behalf of the NATO executive board we want to thank John Fithian for his tremendous contributions to the exhibition industry. His leadership, dedication, commitment, accomplishments and passion will long be remembered as he retires on May 1. Thank you, John, for a great legacy. And welcome, Michael, to our NATO family.”
O’Leary resides in Washington, D.C. He received his law degree from the University of Arizona and is a graduate of Arizona State University.