Former Country Music Association executive director Ed Benson has retired after 29 years with the industry organization. Benson joined the group in 1979 and became executive director in 1992.

In 2005 he was named chief strategic officer and began transitioning to retirement. At that time, longtime CMA executive Tammy Genovese was promoted to COO and later to CEO.

Benson plans to begin consulting and executive coaching in organizational dynamics and workplace environment. He continues volunteer leadership for the music industry retirement community initiative, Leadership Music, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Alliance for Public Education and the Centennial Medical Center board of trustees.