Bill Kramer has been named CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, replacing Dawn Hudson, who has served in the role for 11 years. Kramer is currently director and president of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
The Academy’s board of governors voted for Kramer on Tuesday (June 7). Kramer will assume his new role on July 18. Hudson will remain with the Academy as an advisor during the transition period. The appointment of a new director of the Academy Museum 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,” Academy president David Rubin said in a statement. “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.”
“It is the great honor of my career to take on the role as CEO of the Academy,” 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.”
As 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 and retail operations.
In his current role, Kramer was responsible for opening the Academy Museum in September 2021. The museum has sold more than 550,000 tickets in its first nine months in operation, according to the Academy. Under Kramer’s direction, the museum developed five floors of exhibitions devoted to the arts and sciences of moviemaking and formalized channels between Academy members and the museum for overall content creation.
In addition, Kramer and his museum team developed the Academy’s first permanent retail store, both in the museum and online, generating sales of more than $5.5 million to date, according to the Academy. 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, and with a Spike Lee book to be issued this month. Kramer and the museum’s programming team 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.
In his previous post 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, 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.
Prior to returning to the Academy Museum in 2019, Kramer served as vp of development at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 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.
Ted Sarandos, chair of the Academy Museum board of trustees and Netflix co-CEO, said in a statement, “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.”
In his statement, Rubin also thanked Hudson for her service. “I cannot stress enough the deep respect and appreciation we have for the groundbreaking achievements Dawn Hudson has brought to the Academy during her 11 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.”
“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 responded 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.”