Preston Padden, Disney's top lobbyist in Washington, plans to turn over the reins of government relations in January, with an eye toward retiring in January 2011, according to a note from Padden to colleagues and friends.
Padden said he has accepted a post as senior fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado Law School and as an adjunct professor there.
Disney's government relations team will report to Disney general counsel Alan Braverman, as will the successor to Padden, who is expected to be named early next year. Padden had been reporting directly to Disney president and CEO Bob Iger.
"Over the next year, I will work with Kevin Mayer's strategic planning group on projects of particular interest to me and assist in the transition in government relations until a successor is named," Padden said in the e-mail. "I have been fortunate to work for some remarkable people, including most recently Bob Iger, and I am grateful to all of them for the amazing opportunities and support they have given me. I am especially grateful to the Disney government relations team who, through great expertise and tireless dedication, always managed to make me look good."
During 2010, Padden said he will work with Disney's strategic planning group and help with the transition until a successor is named.
Padden was named executive vice president of government relations for Disney in 1998. Before that he was president of the ABC TV network.
Padden's extensive resume includes CEO for News Corp.'s Sky Broadcasting and head of the former Association of Independent Television Stations.