The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been rapidly expanding the membership rolls, may soon add a new executive position: chief operating officer. Several people familiar with the situation said this week that the academy has quietly had a search firm looking for a COO to back up chief executive officer Dawn Hudson.
An Academy spokeswoman declined to comment on the search. The group hasn’t had a chief operating officer since 2013, when Ric Robertson, a long-time Academy executive who had held the COO position for about two and a half years, resigned.
One person briefed on the search said the growth in membership to roughly 8,000 helped spur the search for an additional top executive. The new COO would likely attend closely to internal departments like human resources, leaving the more visible awards and membership-related functions to Hudson.
Hudson took charge of the Academy staff in 2011 after serving as head of Film Independent, a smaller nonprofit. Robertson had been with the Academy since the 1980s, but left to form a communications firm with partner Jonathan Taylor.
It was unclear whether any candidate was close to filling the open chief operating officer spot. Earlier this year, Brendan Connell Jr. was named COO of the Academy’s under-construction movie museum after his predecessor, Rich Cherry, resigned.