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Disney ups Bates to head U.S. lobbyist

Ends speculation that he was replacing MPAA's Glickman

Richard Bates will head Disney's U.S. government relations, the company said Monday.

The 19-year company veteran will replace Preston Padden, who is retiring from Disney in January 2011. During the next year, Padden will work on projects with Disney's strategic planning department and help with the transition at government relations.

Padden, who has been lobbying on behalf of Disney for 30 years, said last month that he planned to leave the company and become a senior fellow and adjunct professor at University of Colorado Law School.

The elevation of Bates, Padden's No. 2, puts to rest speculation that Bates would replace Dan Glickman as head of the MPAA. Glickman recently stepped down five months earlier than expected, and Bob Pisano, former head of the SAG, has been named interim CEO while the MPAA seeks a permanent replacement.

In his new role, Bates will report to senior executive vp and general counsel Alan Braverman. Based in Washington, he'll be responsible for Disney's interaction with government entities and trade associations.

Before joining Disney, Bates was executive director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.