Good-bye to Tom Sherak, who leaves behind his unpaid job as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as he has served his full nine years as a Governor. And hello to a new AMPAS president as Tuesday night the Board of Governors elected veteran producer Hawk Koch (“Gorky Park,” “Source Code”) for his first one -year term. Hawk was able to gain more than 50% of the votes from somewhat less than the usual 43 members; the Academy has yet to replace screenwriter Frank Pierson, who died last week.
Koch, 66, who also heads the Producer Guild of America, lobbied hard for the job. But he has only one year left to serve as a governor representing the Producers Branch, after serving as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president. Koch is the son of veteran Hollywood producer Howard Koch, who also served as a president of the Academy; this is an industry father-son first. Koch, Jr. started out his career as a road manager for The Supremes and the Dave Clark Five.
Taking the first vice president slot is Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was in the running for the presidency and is co-producing the Governors Ball this November. Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy, who is now helping George Lucas to run LucasFilm, will fill one vice president slot and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson, who indicated to insiders that he was too busy to handle the president gig, was re-elected to the remaining vice president post. Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman, who runs Lionsgate motion pictures with Patrick Wachsberger, was elected treasurer. And Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme, who has been president in the past, was elected secretary.
Academy board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office.
Sherak leaves behind his legacy: since he took the Academy presidency in 2009, he and new Academy CEO Dawn Hudson have closed an agreement to keep the Academy Awards show on ABC through 2020; kept the Oscars in Hollywood at the renamed Dolby Theater for 20 more years; and pursued an Academy motion picture museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sherak tussled with the issue of lectronic balloting, which is on the agenda for the next president. Sherak also oversaw the hiring of Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy to produce and host the 2012 Oscar show, respectively, which backfired; producer Brian Grazer and returning host Billy Crystal saved the day, with viewership up 4% and over 39 million people watching the show that Sunday.