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Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson Named to New Academy Posts

The Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy voted on Thursday to establish a new executive structure for the organization, replacing retiring executive director Bruce Davis with former Film Independent head Dawn Hudson and long-time Academy executive Ric Robertson, who will become the organization’s CEO and COO respectively. Robertson will report to Hudson in the new leadership tandem.
Hudson has spent 20 years at the helm of Film Independent, which grew from a small non-profit into a nationally recognized arts institution under her leadership. Film Independent's two signature programs are the 26-year-old Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, held annually in June.
“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.” said Hudson. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Ric, and to carry the Academy's mission forward into the future.”
Robertson joined the Academy in 1981 following a short stint with the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FILMEX), and became the organization’s second-in-command in 1989, when he was appointed Executive Administrator. In that position he has overseen the Academy’s public programming, its library and film archive as well as its public relations, marketing, legal affairs, and numerous awards-related events and activities.
“Having Bruce as a mentor has been tremendously valuable to me,” said Robertson. “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.”
Academy president Tom Sherak said that the new structure for the Academy’s executive staff had occurred to the officers of the organization as they began seriously considering the succession issue. “We’re a different organization than we used to be,” Sherak said, “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.”
Following a planned bylaw revision, already in the works, Hudson and Robertson will assume their new positions on June 1.

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