The Screen Actors Guild selected a new leader by accepting the resignation of national executive director/CEO Bob Pisano and voting to replace him with his counterpart at the American Federation of Te

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) -- The Screen Actors Guild selected a new leader by accepting the resignation of national executive director/CEO Bob Pisano and voting to replace him with his counterpart at the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, Greg Hessinger.

SAG's full national board voted roughly 65%-34% to accept Hessinger, reflecting the political divisions that continue to plague the union, especially in its Hollywood division.

Although he resigned, Pisano will be paid for the remainder of his contract, which will be in the range of $1 million. He signed a three-year extension last year and, according to SAG's most recent financial filing, earned a salary of $419,651 in the 2004 fiscal year.

Pisano, who plans to become an industry consultant, will make a clean break with the union after the next board meeting April 9.

SAG will be run in the interim by senior staff and the elected leadership, with Hessinger taking over May 2. He is expected to receive a similar pay package to Pisano.

Pisano, who became SAG's leader on Sept. 11, 2001, long envisioned Hessinger, AFTRA national executive director for the past four years, as his replacement and worked to groom him for the top spot.

Pisano's departure comes on his terms in most respects. He recently negotiated a new $200 million contract that has been touted as the richest package in the union's history. His supporters also retain control, albeit by a small margin, of the national board, so his choice of a replacement in Hessinger was all but assured.

Prior to joining SAG, Hessinger spent four years at CBS and Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., where he negotiated collective bargaining agreements with entertainment unions including AFTRA. An attorney by training, Hessinger and his family plan to relocate from New Jersey to Los Angeles.

Pisano, a former Paramount executive and MGM vice chairman, was hired because his industry experience was expected to be a major asset in negotiations.

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