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Leslie Unger resigning from AMPAS

PR exec had been with org for 19 years

After 19 years with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, communications director Leslie Unger is resigning, she confirmed to Variety.

Among her duties, Unger was largely responsible for the publicity efforts surrounding the Oscar ceremony, which included much of the preproduction and technical aspects. Her resignation comes on the heels of a tumultuous week for the Academy, during which it lost producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murray, who were replaced by Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal.

But the Academy itself has been undergoing a significant cultural shift since current CEO Dawn Hudson’s arrival earlier this year. Hudson appointed marketing exec Christina Kounelias to the newly created post of chief marketing officer in August, directly above Unger. Longtime executive director Bruce Davis also retired this year after 22 years.

Unger has been communications director since 2007, assuming the title after John Pavlik retired.

The Academy has not said whether it would name a replacement.

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