Since June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has had a CEO (Dawn Hudson) and a COO (Ric Robertson) for the first time ever. And now AMPAS has created another new position the top echelon of its executive ranks: Chief Marketing Officer, a position that was filled this week by former New Line Cinema marketing executive Christina Kounelias.
The creation of the office and the appointment of Kounelias (left) comes at a time when the Academy Awards have been struggling to hang onto viewers. In recent years, the Academy has been much more aggressive in marketing and promoting the Oscars, though the effect on ratings has been unclear.
The AMPAS press release:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA– Christina Kounelias has been named to the newly created post of Chief Marketing Officer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it was announced today by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. Kounelias will assume her new role on August 1 and will report directly to Hudson.
“As the Academy expands and fosters the achievements of the film community and its legacy, we are proud to have an executive of Christina’s caliber join us in this vital role," said Hudson. "Christina brings a wealth of experience and a strategic perspective from working within the film community, which makes her the right person at the right time to lead our marketing initiatives and build upon the Academy's on-going achievements.”
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with an extraordinary organization,” said Kounelias. “I am so honored to be working with Dawn, Ric Robertson, Tom Sherak, and the Academy’s talented team."
In this new position, Kounelias will oversee all planning, strategy and marketing execution of Academy initiatives including its signature Oscar telecast, the Governors Awards and year-round educational outreach and screening programs. The marketing, communications and online staff will report to her.
Kounelias joins the Academy from WB-based New Line Cinema, where she served as Executive Vice President, Marketing. She worked at the studio for 17 years and held senior posts in marketing and PR during her tenure there – highlights of which include innovative campaigns for Peter Jackson’s landmark “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Prior to New Line, Kounelias worked at Miramax Films, where she established their PR department. Additionally, she has worked on campaigns for a diverse array of films including “Sex and the City,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Hairspray,” “Little Children,” “About Schmidt,” “A History of Violence,” the “Austin Powers” and “Rush Hour” franchises, “Boogie Nights,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “My Left Foot” and “Seven.”
Kounelias has been a member of the Academy for nine years.
(Photo by AMPAS)