Academy CEO Dawn Hudson Will Not Renew Contract After Three-Year Term Ends

In 2023, she'll look to explore new opportunities, with more than a decade of Oscar telecasts and a museum behind her.
Dawn Hudson, CEO, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arrives at 9th annual Governors Awards at the Dolby Ballroom on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Dawn Hudson
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chief executive officer Dawn Hudson will not renew her contract after her three-year term ends. Academy representatives told IndieWire that Hudson, who signed a three-year contract in the spring of 2020, will be a vital participant in the transition. But in 2023, she will look to explore new opportunities, with more than a decade of Oscar telecasts, and now, an Academy museum in her tenure.

“After more than 10 years and the incredibly successful opening of our new museum, I’ve decided, when this term concludes, it will be time for me to explore other opportunities and adventures as this can hardly be topped,” said Hudson in a statement. “We’ve achieved so much together that’s been most important to me — our ongoing commitment to representation and inclusion; adapting the Academy into a digitally sophisticated global institution; and creating the world’s premier movie museum that will be the destination of film fans for decades. The Board of Governors and I are mutually committed to a seamless transition to new leadership. I’m excited for what the future holds, for both the Academy and for me.”

“Dawn has been, and continues to be, a groundbreaking leader for the Academy. Advancements in the diversity and gender parity of our membership, our increased international presence, and the successful opening of a world-class Academy Museum — a project she revived, guided and championed — are already part of her legacy. I know the Board of Governors joins me in looking forward to our collaboration with Dawn in the many months ahead, as we map out a plan for succession,” said Academy President David Rubin.

A Harvard University graduate and film executive, Hudson has served as the Academy’s CEO since 2011. In her role, Hudson oversees the Academy’s 450-person staff in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Prior to the Academy, she served for two decades as President of Film Independent, where she produced the Spirit Awards as well as the erstwhile Los Angeles Film Festival. Hudson can count to her credit having compiled the most diverse class ever in the Academy’s history. She has also extended the Academy’s international reach into 68 countries altogether, with a wide-ranging class of below- and above-the-line talent from around the globe. Earlier this fall, after budgetary and pandemic-related setbacks, the Academy Museum finally opened its doors to the public in Miracle Mile.

During Hudson’s tenure, the Academy also instituted a set of inclusion standards for Oscar entrants, which won’t take effect until 2024 (after Hudson is off-duty as CEO). They’re meant to increase diversity and representation both in front of and behind the camera, which has long been one of Hudson’s goals throughout her time heading the Academy.

In her time, she also weathered numerous fiascos, from #OscarsSoWhite to the infamous envelope incident where “La La Land” was misread as the Best Picture winner over “Moonlight.” This year, Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher, Emmy nominee Jesse Collins, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh partnered to produce the 93rd annual Oscars telecast, which plunged to a low 10.4 million viewers and was met with criticism for its loose style in downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station. For 2022 — Hudson’s second-to-last Oscars telecast — “Girls Trip” and “Ride Along” producer Will Packer will take the reins for producing duties.

Anne Thompson contributed reporting.

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