Indie Spirits honcho to head up Oscars org

Dawn Hudson, long-time head of Film Independent, becomes the ultimate Hollywood insider as CEO of the motion picture academy. She replaces departing executive director Bruce Davis. His long-time lieutenant Ric Robertson will be COO in the revamped structure which will be put in place June 1. 

Hudson helmed FIND for 20 years, and oversaw the rise in stature of the Independent Spirit Awards, which are traditionally the day before the Oscars, as well as the flourishing of the LA filmfest held every June. 

In making the announcement, academy president Tom Sherak explained the revised hierarchy thus: “We’re a different organization than we used to be with a range of activities that couldn’t have been conceived of when the present structure came into place. Now, with the leadership team of Dawn as our CEO and Ric as our COO, we have the ideal combination of new vision and institutional continuity to move us forward.”

For Hudson, “The Academy is the gold standard for the world’s most influential art form, and I am humbled by what the Board of Governors, the Academy members, and the staff have accomplished under Bruce Davis’s leadership. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Ric, and to carry the Academy’s mission forward into the future.”  

And added Robertson, “Having Bruce as a mentor has been tremendously valuable to me. It will serve me well as I move into this new management position and partnership with Dawn, as we help to write the Academy’s next chapter.”

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