Bill Kramer Named CEO of Oscars Academy

Current CEO Dawn Hudson is exiting early after 11 years

bill kramer oscars
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Bill Kramer has been named the new CEO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Academy announced Tuesday.

He replaces Dawn Hudson, whose contract expires next spring and has been with the Academy in the role for 11 years. Kramer starts in his new role on July 18. Hudson will remain with the Academy as an advisor during the transition period.

The decision to name Kramer in the position passed via a unanimous vote by the board, an individual with knowledge of the vote added.

Kramer is currently the director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In his new role, he will lead the Academy’s 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.

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.

“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. 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,” Academy President David Rubin said.

Rubin continued: “I cannot stress enough the deep respect and appreciation we have for the groundbreaking achievements Dawn Hudson has brought to the Academy during her eleven 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.”

“It is the great honor of my career to take on the role as CEO of the Academy,” Bill Kramer said in a statement. “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.”

Since opening in September last year under Kramer’s leadership, the Academy Museum has sold over 550,000 tickets, and the retail store with the museum has generated $5.5 million in retail and online sales. Under his direction, The Academy also launched a global publications imprint that kicked off with a catalog of the films of Hayao Miyazaki, who currently has an exhibit dedicated to him at the museum.

Kramer also oversaw the completion of the $388 million fundraising campaign that launched the museum project 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. 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,” chair of the Academy Museum Board of Trustees and Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

Hudson announced in October that her current term as Academy CEO would be her last, but her contract was scheduled to end next May.

“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,” Hudson said. “I’ve worked with Bill for close to a decade, and no executive is more innovative, more connected to artists, or more passionate about the opportunities that lie ahead than he is. The Academy and the Academy Museum are in the best of hands.”

Prior to returning to the Academy Museum in 2019, Kramer served as vice president of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Kramer has led capital and comprehensive campaigns for the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and has served in senior business and fundraising positions at the Sundance Institute, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Columbia University School of the Arts.

The 2023 Oscars, approaching their 95th year, will take place on March 12, 2023.