Christina Kounelias Leaves the Academy for EVP Role at Participant Media

She’ll serve in the newly-created position of executive VP of worldwide marketing and communications

Participant Media has named Christina Kounelias executive VP of worldwide marketing and communications, a newly created position at the company, it was announced Thursday by Participant founder/chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO David Linde, to whom Kounelias will report.

In her new role, Kounelias will lead Participant’s global strategy for all marketing and communications efforts. She will be responsible for shaping Participant’s pro-social narrative, as well as leveraging the company’s content through cross-platform initiatives. Kounelias will oversee all creative marketing efforts for film, media and promotions, corporate communications, events, audience engagement, and research. She will begin working out of Participant’s offices on March 28.

Kounelias joins Participant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she was the first-ever chief marketing officer. While there, she oversaw all marketing, communications and digital media for the organization’s global initiatives, including The Oscars, the Academy Museum, and a year-round slate of programming. She also spearheaded a significant re-branding effort. The organization notably grew its social media presence to over 9.2 million followers and dramatically transformed its online user experience.

Kounelias is the latest executive addition to Linde’s senior leadership team. “Christina is a talented strategist and is well regarded within the industry for her creativity and proven track record of success across studios and institutions,” said Linde. “We couldn’t be happier that an executive of her caliber is joining Participant at such a dynamic moment for the company.”

“Participant is an incredible force in entertainment with a mission that pairs compelling content with positive social impact,” added Kounelias. “I’m honored and excited to work with Jeff, David and the Participant team to bring impact to life, and activate our own storytelling with memorable and lasting campaigns.”

Prior to the Academy, Kounelias held senior marketing and communications posts at Warner Bros., New Line, Fox Broadcasting and Miramax, where she worked on award-winning campaigns for both independent films and tentpole franchises.

Participant’s recent successful run during the awards season culminated in three Academy Awards, including the company’s first Best Picture win for “Spotlight.” The company’s 2016 film slate includes Peter Berg‘s “Deepwater Horizon” (Lionsgate); J.A. Bayona’s “A Monster Calls” (Focus Features); Pablo Larrain‘s “Neruda”; Derek Cianfrance‘s “The Light Between Oceans” (DreamWorks/Disney); “Denial” starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall (Bleecker Street); “Middle School,” based on James Patterson‘s best-selling series (CBS Films); Ric Roman Waugh‘s “Shot Caller”; Alex Gibney‘s “Zero Days” (Magnolia Pictures); Morgan Neville‘s “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble” (The Orchard); and “Presenting Princess Shaw” (Magnolia Pictures).