Oscars Academy COO Christine Simmons Out as New CEO Bill Kramer Takes Over

Kramer has started weeks ahead of his previously announced July 18 start date

Bill Kramer Christine Simmons
Bill Kramer (courtesy of AMPAS) and Christine Simmons (photographed by Elisabeth Caren for TheWrap)

Christine Simmons, COO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), is out as Bill Kramer, the new CEO, has taken over weeks ahead of his previously announced July 18 start date.

Kramer replaces Dawn Hudson, whose contract expires next spring and has been with the Academy in the role for 11 years. 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.

Simmons, whose departure is effective immediately, doesn’t have a successor named yet. Her departure was announced by the Academy in an email on Friday. Simmons previously joined the Academy COO in late 2018, and was President and COO of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Kramer also relayed the news in an email to members:

Dear Academy Members,

I am excited to share with you that starting today, I will step into the Academy CEO position. This will help to create a seamless transition as we start the new fiscal year.

I am able to move into this role thanks to Dawn Hudson’s incredible leadership over the last 12 years. She has paved the way for us all, and I am deeply grateful for her partnership and support.

Moving into this role is the honor of a lifetime. We are the organization that can galvanize the global film community like no other. We have the world’s largest film-related collection, the most prestigious award for cinematic excellence in the world, and an international membership of the world’s greatest film artists and professionals.

I so look forward to working with you all to advance the great work of this institution. We are scheduling an all-member meeting for September where we can discuss our plans for the future in greater detail. I hope you will join us as we talk about how we move forward together.

Until then, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts.

All my best,

Kramer was previously the director and president of AMPAS. In his new role, Kramer 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.

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.

Deadline first reported the news.