Dawn Hudson, Departing Academy CEO, Sends Members “A Final Note” (Exclusive)

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Dawn Hudson, whose roller-coaster 11-year tenure as the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences came to an end Friday, hailed her successor, Bill Kramer, as “a visionary leader” in an email to the organization’s members obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, further asserting, “The Academy is in the best of hands.”

Hudson was expected to remain in her position through July 18, but news leaked Friday that her handoff to Kramer had been moved up, and also that Hudson’s handpicked deputy, Christine Simmons, the organization’s COO since 2018, had been ousted as part of the transition to a new administration.

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In her communiqué, Hudson said it had been “the privilege of a lifetime” to lead the Academy, asserting that under her watch it had become “a truly global film organization, a world-class museum, an unstinting commitment to representation and inclusion, and a modern Academy ready to lead in a shifting world.”

The full email — sent under the subject line “A final note from Dawn Hudson” — follows.

Dear Academy Members,

I’m excited that Bill Kramer begins his tenure as Academy CEO starting today. He is a visionary leader who will further unite and elevate our global family of artists and who will be a terrific partner to all of you. I’m fully confident of the Academy’s continued success with Bill leading the way, and I’m thrilled for this next chapter of this extraordinary institution. The Academy is in the best of hands.

How grateful I am to have served as your CEO these past 11+ years and to have shared our collective, deep love of movies. Thank you for your support of me personally and professionally, for your willingness to step up in support of the Academy when called — and you were called a lot! — and for your commitment to moving this organization forward in every regard. This last decade is a testament to how innovative and daring a legacy institution can be: we’ve created a truly global film organization, a world-class museum, an unstinting commitment to representation and inclusion, and a modern Academy ready to lead in a shifting world. Thank you for your time and passion and expertise to help make all of this happen.

I’m on hand to support Bill in any way I can, and I also know he and our newly-elected Board of Governors will chart the best course possible moving forward together. It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to be a part of this glorious endeavor. I leave with love and gratitude and the most profound respect for you all.

With deep affection,

Dawn

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