Latasha Gillespie Departs As Global Head Of DEIA For Amazon MGM Studios; Amanda Baker-Lane To Replace Her

Latasha Gillespie is stepping down from her post as Global Head of DEIA for Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video effective August 29 after seven years at Amazon, the last five at the film and TV studio. She will be succeed by Amanda Baker-Lane, who has worked in the DEIA space for more than 14 years, the last 9 ½ of them in various roles at Amazon, most recently Head of DEIA Product and Strategy under Gillespie.

In an internal memo, Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke listed Gillespie’s contributions since she launched the DEIA program at Amazon Studios in 2018 including creating the Howard Entertainment Program, a first-of-its-kind partnership between a major studio, and developing other initiatives designed increase access to the industry including the Illuminative Indigenous Episodic Directors Program, the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project Alumni Fellowship, and the LALIFF Works in Progress Finishing Fund, along with launching an on-set mental wellness program.

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“Latasha’s positive influence has been felt throughout the organization and extends to our creative partners who have relied on her for support and guidance,” Salke said in her memo. “She innately understands the complex needs and dynamics of talent, executives and creatives and is relentless in her pursuit to make our industry a better, more inclusive place.”

Salke noted that Gillespie “will continue to work with Amazon MGM Studios in a consulting capacity for a period of time,” as she moves on with the next stage of her career.

“It’s very rare that you get to jump into a new venture with the support of your current org while also elevating the people you have been growing and nurturing along the way,” Gillespie said. “I look forward to tapping into other places and spaces that I’m equally passionate about, including public speaking, podcasts, consulting and executive coaching.”

During her tenure at Amazon, Baker-Lane launched the HBCU conference “Beyond the Yard” that brought more than 220 students from over 43 HBCUs together to connect them to professional networks, jobs, and hands-on technical learning. She also was behind a Black Women executive conference for Director+ level professionals.

“Since joining Amazon 9 1/2 years ago, I have learned from many amazing leaders making impactful advancements on inclusion, and I am energized about bringing my experiences to this new role,” she said. “Under Jennifer Salke’s direction, Amazon MGM Studios has become a true home for authentic storytelling and talent of all backgrounds, and I look forward to furthering that mission with my team.”

DEIA in Hollywood has seen a lot of change over the past year, with a number of leaders in the area leaving their posts at studios, networks and other entertainment organizations for opportunities elsewhere.

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