Academy Names Christine Simmons Chief Operating Officer

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Christine Simmons

Formerly president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, she will oversee day-to-day management.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named Christine Simmons to the position of chief operating officer, it was announced Thursday by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. Simmons, president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, will assume her new role in January, reporting directly to Hudson.

Simmons will be responsible for the day-to-day management and enhancement of the Academy's internal organization and infrastructure, with focus on the Academy Foundation, comprising the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy Film Archive, its educational programs and the Science and Technology Council.

The Academy has not had a COO since 2013, when Ric Robertson, a longtime exec with the organization who held that post for two and a half years, departed.

"There has been — and continues to be — a sea change in our film community, our Academy, and in the culture at large. Christine brings both nonprofit and corporate management expertise, an ability to implement creative solutions and a love of film to our Academy. It's the perfect moment for an innovative thinker," Hudson said in announcing Simmons' appointment.

"I look forward to joining the team and contributing to the innovation and growth of the operational excellence of the Academy. The organization's efforts to support filmmakers and programs where every person's story can be told are invaluable," Simmons commented.

Prior to becoming president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, Simmons served as executive vp of Magic Johnson Enterprises, where she led the day-to-day operations of the Sparks throughout the team's first season. Before working at MJE, she held senior positions managing and expanding supplier diversity at both Disney and NBCUniversal.

Simmons also serves on the advisory councils for Women in Sports and Events and Next Play Capital. She previously served as board president of the UCLA Alumni Association and is a member of the UCLA Foundation's board of directors and the UC Regents. In October, Ebony magazine included Simmons in its "Power 100" list of inspiring African-Americans.