Academy Awards’ Tom Oyer Exits the Academy After 16 Years

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Tom Oyer, senior vice president of member relations and awards at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is exiting his post after 16 years, Variety has learned exclusively.

On Friday, Oyer shared the news of his departure in a letter sent to colleagues and industry professionals.

A beloved figure by Academy members and staffers, Oyer has made vital and notable contributions during his tenure, including his involvement with diversity initiative Aperture 2020, modernizing the voting process for awards and the digital Academy Screening Room. His other footprints are seen in fundamental rules and changes within the various branches, particularly in the Documentary Branch. In 2012, he was crucial in implementing the seven-day theatrical requirement for docs and expanding the preliminary voting to the entire branch membership. Before that, only a small number of volunteers would vote.

“Tom has been an integral and valuable member of this team for many years,” the Academy shares in a statement to Variety. “While we are sad to see him go, his work lives on with numerous initiatives and efforts to make the Academy the best it can be. We wish him nothing but the best going forward.”

Beginning his career in the mailroom in 2007, Oyer held several positions at the Academy, including theater operations, awards coordinator, associate director, senior director and his most recent promotion in June 2021. An expert on everything nonfiction, he served as the go-to person for studios and industry professionals for everything documentary-related regarding rules, qualifications and submissions. He also oversaw administration for the live-action short, producers, animated short and makeup and hairstyling.

Academy executives and other department team members have absorbed Oyer’s responsibilities, which have resulted in multiple promotions and leadership opportunities within the organization. Those individuals are Angelica Cervantes (senior director, member and industry relations), Natalie Wade (senior director, member relations and awards administration), Josh Nallathambi (associate director, member and industry relations) and Michael Benedict (associate director, member relations and awards administration).

The Academy also states: “We are also thrilled to be able to promote four incredible executives who are part of the future of this organization who will take us to new levels in servicing our members and our industry.”

The road to the upcoming 96th Oscars ceremony in March is expected to feature some of the year’s biggest movies, such as Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

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