Dawn Hudson, the chief executive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is beginning a long goodbye from the job she’s held since 2011.
The academy announced Monday that Ms. Hudson, 65, will step down at the conclusion of her current contract. It expires at the end of 2023.
In recent years under Ms. Hudson, the Academy has moved aggressively to expand and diversify its membership, a response to the #OscarSoWhite controversy that arose in 2015 after the group nominated only white actors for the Oscars. Since then, the Academy has swelled to 9,362 voting members from 6,446, 33 percent of whom identify as women and 19 percent coming from underrepresented communities. (When Ms. Hudson came aboard, Oscar voters were 94 percent white and 77 percent male.)
Ms. Hudson was also integral in the opening of the Academy Museum, which debuted last month after a nearly decade-long slog and budget overruns that totaled close to $100 million.
“Dawn has been, and continues to be, a groundbreaking leader for the academy,” the academy’s president, David Rubin, said in a statement. “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.”
Ms. Hudson’s successor will face big challenges. As with all awards shows, the academy has seen the viewers for its annual telecast — which through its licensing deal with ABC generates the majority of the organization’s operating budget — decline precipitously over the years. This year brought a new nadir of only 10.4 million viewers, a decline of 56 percent from 2020. In 2012, the first year of Ms. Hudson’s tenure, 43 million people watched the show, with Ellen DeGeneres as the host.
The academy said it would begin looking for Ms. Hudson’s replacement shortly and “she will have a vital role in the transition.”