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Film Academy Names Bill Kramer as New CEO After Entrusting Him With Movie Museum


Bill Kramer
Image via AMPAS

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to name Bill Kramer as the organization’s new CEO following the departure of Dawn Hudson after 11 years of service.

The news was first reported earlier this week by The Ankler, which noted that in his current role as Director and President of the Academy Museum, Kramer was responsible for the omission of numerous Jews who helped build Hollywood back in the old days. This was, of course, treated as an innocent oversight, but it nonetheless remained troubling to many high-powered industry players, though clearly the board was encouraged by the steps he has taken to rectify that mistake. Though the museum’s construction went way over budget, it enjoyed a successful launch last September and in its first nine months of operation, more than 550,000 tickets have been sold — an impressive achievement, no doubt.

Kramer will assume his new role on July 18, while Hudson will remain with the Academy as an advisor during the transition period. 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 that announcement will be made in the near future.

As the Academy’s new CEO, Kramer will lead the 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, as well as all retail operations.

Academy Museum
Image via Academy Museum/Eric Green

The Academy Museum consists of five floors of world-class exhibitions devoted to the arts and sciences of moviemaking, as well as a permanent retail store that combined with online sales, has generated more than $5.5 million to date. Under Kramer’s leadership, the museum created the Academy’s first global publications imprint that launched with a Hayao Miyazaki catalog, which is currently in its fourth print run, with a Spike Lee book to be issued later this month. Kramer and the museum’s programming team also developed the Academy’s first robust public screenings series with more than 40 programs presented each month, including Branch Selects, a screening series co-created with the Academy’s 17 member branches.

To ensure the financial health of the museum, Kramer 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.

“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 in a statement.

“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,” added Rubin.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Chris Rock
Image via ABC

“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,” added Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, who also serves as 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.”

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

During his earlier tenure as managing director of the Academy Museum, Kramer served as the chief planning, public relations, advancement, exhibitions, and government relations officer for the museum’s pre-construction phase, successfully leading the project’s fundraising campaign and managing the project’s public approvals process. Kramer also oversaw the production of the museum’s first exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which explored the central role that costume design plays in cinematic storytelling and featured more than 100 iconic movie costumes.

Prior to returning to the Academy Museum in 2019, Kramer served as vice president of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), one of America’s most institutionally and programmatically diverse arts institutions, where he led a 45-person team tasked with raising significant private and government funding, overseeing a visual art expansion program, and platforming BAM’s growing film program to an international audience.

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.

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