SAN FRANCISCO — Falcon Studios Group announced that company president Chris Ward is retiring after 20 years in the adult industry and has named NakedSword CEO and AEBN co-owner Tim Valenti the new president.
Ward, who co-founded Raging Stallion Studios with JD Slater in 1999, built the Falcon Studios Group through a series of mergers that brought Falcon, Raging Stallion, Hot House and various fetish brands under one umbrella. In 2015, the Falcon Studios Group had over 100 DVD releases.
NakedSword CEO and AEBN co-owner Tim Valenti will assume the role of President of Falcon Studios Group, but Ward will remain until the end of the year before transitioning to an advisory role through spring of 2016.
"I have lived a dream working in our industry, I started out in a basement and grew my company into something far larger than I ever thought possible," Ward said. "So many people helped me during these many years and I would not be able to be in a position to retire without their hard work and support. There are too many people to name, but without them my career would not have been possible.”
Ward remains one of the co-owners of AEBN but says he has no plans to actively participate in the industry after his departure.
"I can be a very controlling person, and I want to clear out and to give Tim the space he needs to take Falcon into the future," added Ward. "I am thankful for that and want to spend the next 30 years doing something different… and maybe telling stories about ‘the good old days.’”
"I have a great respect for the legacy that Chris Ward is leaving behind and for the legacy of the Falcon brand in general," Valenti said. "Chris and I have worked together for many years and I know what it takes to run the group he has worked so hard to build. I'm excited about this opportunity for all of the brands involved. All of our companies are positioned for great success moving forward.
"I will still be running NakedSword and overseeing the day-to-day operations of both companies," continued Valenti. "NakedSword is my baby and will always be a priority to me. In fact, we are working on a lot of new and exciting changes for 2016 and NakedSword is strongly positioned for a bright future. Myself and everyone at NakedSword wish Chris all the best the world has to offer during his well-earned retirement."
Ward began his career as an actor and director at Hot House in 1996, releasing his first film "The Hole Punch" that same year. He became one of Hot House's main directors, working directly with Steven Scarborough, who Ward considers his mentor. A few years later, Ward and Slater (together with Kent Taylor) formed Raging Stallion Studios.
In subsequent years, Falcon and Hot House were acquired, forming the current Falcon Studios Group. Ward has received over 50 industry awards for his efforts, and several hundred more for films he produced over the years. Among the films he directed are "Arabesque," "Grunts," "To The Last Man," "Manifesto," "Giants" and "Raiders of the Lost Arse."
Ward holds a Ph.D. in history, has published several books and now plans to get back to writing. He will split his time between San Francisco and France, spending time with his partner (Mo Duran), his cats and his wine cellar.