Motion Picture Academy Votes In Museum Head Bill Kramer As New CEO

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Tuesday that its board of governors has voted to name Bill Kramer, the current director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, as its new CEO.

He replaces Dawn Hudson, who is exiting her post after an 11-year run. Kramer will assume his new role on July 18, with Hudson remaining as an advisor during the transition period. She had said in October that her current term will be her last; she signed her latest deal in March 2020 for what was expected to be three years through May 2023.

We’re hearing the board vote for Kramer was unanimous; he had been widely considered the front-runner for the post.

As CEO, the Academy says Kramer will lead the global membership; the Oscars; the institution’s education and emerging talent initiatives; the Academy’s 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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The news means that 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 and will be announced in the near future,” the Academy said today.

“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 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.”

He added: “I cannot stress enough the deep respect and appreciation we have for the groundbreaking achievements Dawn Hudson has brought to the Academy during her 11 years as CEO. She initiated unprecedented efforts to create more space for diverse voices, both within the membership and our industry. She was tireless in shepherding our long-awaited museum to its opening and has fortified the Academy’s financial stability, allowing us to develop programs and provide mentoring for those in front of and behind the camera. Our gratitude for her accomplishments and guidance is beyond measure.”

Kramer was originally managing director of development and external relations at the long-in-the-works Academy Museum under Kerry Brougher before exiting briefly in 2016, returning as the head man in 2019. He helped steer the project that had been originally announced in 2012 and missed targeted openings in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to its opening September 30. During that span he oversaw the completion of a $388 million fundraising campaign and established an ongoing $40 million annual operating revenue program that includes an annual gala, ticket sales, museum membership and more.

“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,” said Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, chair of the Academy Museum Board of Trustees. “The museum’s opening has been a resounding success, and I look forward to working with Bill to help further amplify the museum’s robust programs and create a unifying and strategic vision for the future.”

Between stints at the Academy Museum, Kramer served as VP Development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He previously led campaigns for the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the California Institute of the Arts and worked at Sundance Institute, Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University School of the Arts.

“It is the great honor of my career to take on the role as CEO of the Academy,” said Kramer today. “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. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and for the incredible work of my colleagues Brendan Connell Jr. and Jacqueline Stewart, who will continue the exceptional work of the Academy Museum.”

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