Oscar 2009: Tom Sherak New Academy of Motion Picture President


August 19, 2009–Tom Sherak  has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for a one-year term.

At Tuesday night's board meeting, the others elected officers were Tom Hanks, first vice president; Kathleen Kennedy and Phil Robinson, vice presidents; Hawk Koch, treasurer; and John Lasseter, secretary.

Sid Ganis, president for the past four years, was ineligible for re-election under Academy rules. Ganis now assumes the title of past president, which means he serves on the exec committee and remains a resource for the organization.

Under AMPAS tradition, there is no formal declaring of candidacy.  Sherak is beginning his seventh year as a governor, reresenting the executives branch. He last served as treasurer.

In the past, AMPAS announced the president on the morning following the board meet. However, in the age of Twitter, execs decided it made more sense to send out the release Tuesday night.

Academy president is not usually a full-time position, but each of the past prexies have tailored their time commitment to the org depending on their various schedules. The president chairs board meetings, has a hand in Oscar-related activities (including securing the Oscarcast producer), is a member of all Academy committees and sits in on as many meetings as time allows as the panels deal with various Acad functions (the library, scholarships, film preservation, et al.)

Like Ganis, Robert Rehme held the post of first veepee for four consecutive years. According to Acad rules, a person can be elected to a maximum of four consecutive terms. Down the road, Ganis and Rehme would be eligible to run again for those posts (or any other), since the rules only forbid more than four consecutive years.

Sherak, who is beginning his seventh year as a governor representing the Executives Branch, has served as treasurer of the Academy during the past year. He succeeds Sid Ganis, who had served the maximum four consecutive one-year terms in the office. In addition, Actors Branch governor Tom Hanks was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson were elected to vice presidents posts; Producers Branch governor Hawk Koch was elected treasurer; and Short Films and Feature Animation Branch governor John Lasseter was elected secretary.  

Ganis, representing the Public Relations Branch, will serve as immediate past president. These will be the first officer stints for Lasseter and Robinson. Hanks had previously served as vice president and treasurer. Koch had previously served one term as vice president. This will be Kennedy's second consecutive term as vice president.

Sherak, a marketing, distribution and production executive with more than four decades in the motion picture industry, is currently a consultant for Marvel Studios. Previously, Sherak was a partner at Revolution Studios where he oversaw the release of more than 40 films including “Black Hawk Down,” “Anger Management,” “Rent” and “Across the Universe.” Prior to joining Revolution, Sherak was chairman of Twentieth Century Domestic Film Group and served as senior executive vice president of Fox Filmed Entertainment.  Previously, he held various positions at Fox, including senior executive vice president, where he oversaw the distribution and post-production of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Speed” and “Independence Day,” among others.

In 1990, Sherak was named executive vice president of Twentieth Century Fox.  Prior to that he was president of domestic distribution and marketing for Fox, where launched such films as “Romancing the Stone,” “Aliens,” “Wall Street,” “Die Hard” and “Working Girl.”  He began his career in the industry at Paramount Pictures in 1970. Academy board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office.