Academy Elects Hawk Koch as Its New President

Hawk Koch Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Hawk Koch Headshot - P 2012

He succeeds Tom Sherak, who has held the unpaid position since 2009.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors elected film producer Hawk Koch as the organization's new president Tuesday night.

The board also elected public relations branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs as first vice president. Producer Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vp post, and writers branch governor Phil Robinson was elected to the other vp post. Public relations branch governer Rob Friedman, co-chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment, was elected treasurer. And executives branch governor Robert Rehme, a past Academy president, was elected secretary.

Koch has been a member of the Academy's producers branch since 2004. He has served a three-year term as treasurer, served another one-year term as vice president, and was first vice president of the Academy during the past year.

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The veteran film producer's credits range from 1978's Heaven Can Wait to 1992's Wayne's World and its 1993 sequel to 2002's Collateral Damage. He recently served as executive producer of Source Code and is exec producer on the upcoming Very Good Girls. Hawk also currently serves, along with Mark Gordon, as one of the two presidents of the Producers Guild of America.

In taking on the Academy post, Koch follows in the footsteps of his father, the late producer Howard W. Koch, who served as Academy president from 1977 to 1979.

The Academy president is elected from among the board of governors. While the Academy president can serve as many as four consecutive one-year terms, Koch's tenure will be limited to one year, since members of the board of governors may serve a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms, and he is currently beginning his last year as a member of the board.

He succeeds Tom Sherak, who has held the unpaid position since 2009. During his tenure, Sherak oversaw several significant moves. Among them, he negotiated a new deal with ABC as well as a  global distribution agreement with Disney Media Distribution that runs through 2020 and oversaw a new deal for the Oscar venue at the Hollywood & Highland complex.

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He also brought aboard a new executive director in Dawn Hudson, changed the way best pictures nominees are chosen so that the field can range from five to ten pictures and struck a memo of understanding with the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art for a new museum about the movies to be located in the May Co. building on Wilshire Boulevard.

His tenure also saw the resignation of Brett Ratner as Oscar show producer and Eddie Murphy as host earlier this year in the wake of controversial comments made by the former. Brian Grazer quickly stepped up to produce the show with Don Mischer, and Billy Crystal came aboard as host.