Academy Museum Director Bill Kramer Named New Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson Exits

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Bill Kramer, director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, has been tapped as the new CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, replacing the outgoing Dawn Hudson.

Kramer, who was unanimously elected by the AMPAS board, will assume his new role on July 18. Hudson will remain with the Academy as an advisor during the transition period. Kramer will lead the global membership, the Oscars, the institution’s education and emerging talent initiatives, the Academy’s extensive collections housed in the Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, and the Academy Museum and its ongoing calendar of exhibitions, screenings, educational and public programs, and retail operations.

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In his current role, Kramer was responsible for successfully opening the Academy Museum in September, 2021. The museum has sold more than 550,000 tickets in the first nine months of operation. The appointment of a new Director of the Academy Museum is currently being addressed by the Museum Board of Trustees and the Academy Foundation Board. It will be announced in the near future.

“Bill Kramer has been a transformational leader in establishing the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as a beacon for movie lovers and a manifestation of everything the Academy represents and celebrates,” said current Academy president David Rubin. “His vision for the Academy’s future is likewise bold and inspiring, and our governors have agreed he is the ideal choice to lead at this pivotal moment for the organization. We believe Bill has the ability to bring together all corners of the motion picture community, and we’re thrilled to have him in this role to elevate the organization and unite our global membership.”

Before heading up the museum, Kramer had served as managing director of development and external relations from 2012 to 2016. He oversaw the production of the museum’s Hollywood Costume exhibit, which drew more than 78,000 visitors. He was more recently VP of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

“What a privilege it’s been to work with an exceptionally talented staff and dedicated board members to create a truly global institution, a world-class museum that honors this art form so beautifully, an abiding commitment to representation and inclusion, and a modern organization ready to lead in a changing world,” said Hudson

After a decade as CEO of AMPAS, Hudson announced in October 2021 that her current term would be her last. Hudson’s contract was scheduled to end in May 2023, after she joined the Academy in 2011. As CEO, Hudson oversaw the Academy’s 450-person staff in Los Angeles, New York and London; operations and outreach, including awards, membership, marketing, communications, finance and technology; and the Academy Foundation, which includes educational initiatives, fellowships and grants, the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive. Her most notable accomplishment was the opening of the Academy Museum.

Chair of the Academy Museum Board of Trustees and Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “The Academy Museum Board of Trustees is thrilled that Bill will be continuing his work with us as the CEO of the Academy and as a Trustee of the Museum Board.

Hudson’s exit comes after the eventful 94th Oscars when best actor winner Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock as he was presenting best documentary feature. David Rubin, Academy president, will be finishing his term this summer, with a new leader set to be voted on by the Board of Governors. Kramer and the incoming new president will be responsible for ushering the Oscars telecast and organization into a new era. The 2022 Oscars drew 16.6 million viewers, up 58% from last year’s record-low audience of 10.5 million. While the year-over-year growth was noted, it was still the second-lowest viewership and rating performance in telecast history.

“It is the great honor of my career to take on the role as CEO of the Academy,” said Kramer. “I deeply believe in the power and artistry of cinema. I so look forward to galvanizing the unparalleled assets of the Academy — the Oscars, our global community of more than 10,000 Academy members, and our museum, library, and archive — to promote and elevate the arts and sciences of the movies and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

The 95th Oscars will be held on March 12, 2023, and will air live on ABC in more than 200 territories worldwide from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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