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Amy Emmerich steps down as Miss Universe CEO

By Camille Santiago Published Feb 08, 2024 3:12 pm

Former media executive Amy Emmerich is leaving the Miss Universe organization as its chief executive officer.

Emmerich announced on Thursday via LinkedIn that she will be leaving the pageant brand after March 1, but will be continuing an advisory role in the next few months before she ultimately leaves.

"Sharing the news that my last day as CEO of the Miss Universe Organization will be March 1st but I look forward to continuing on in an advisory role for the next few months," she started.

She continued: "This was an incredible experience, and I’m so proud of this team's accomplishments during my tenure. We created new business lines, grew revenue, managed through two acquisitions, created a digital-first organization, and reshaped this iconic brand for a new era – a program that advocates for a future forged by women."

Emmerich recalled her time as CEO for the past two years, saying the MUO has seen an "incredible growth."

"We saw our first moms compete and make it to the finals. Our first married women, our first plus-size delegate, our first trans woman to make it to the top 20 and already for 2024 women of all ages are competing at national levels," she explained. "Not only have we left the business in a stronger place, but we’ve left the program with the kind of goodwill and modern outlook that can transition to the next generation of fans."

Emmerich thanked MU owner and JKN Global Group Anne Jakrajutatip and Mexican businessman Raúl Rocha Cantú, who now owns 50 percent of Miss Universe, for offering her the advisory role.

"I thank Anne and Raul for asking me to partner with new management in this advisory role as we continue to serve over the hundreds of franchise partners, millions of dedicated global fans, and of course the thousands of exceptional women who are the heartbeat of this organization," she said.

Emmerich is the former president and chief content officer of the American lifestyle website Refinery29. She joined the MUO in 2022, following the acquisition of Jakrajutatip's company, whose goal was to hire an all-female team.

Speaking to InStyle, Emmerich admitted that she was "very unsure" of the position at first as Miss Universe was a "misunderstood" organization in the US.

"Experiencing the pageant and meeting the women really touched me in a big way," she said. 

“[My friends] know me as a feminist and everyone thinks pageants are the opposite, but why are we still looking at this system through the male gaze?” she said. “These women have a choice in everything they do, and they have a confidence that I still don’t have at 47. Plus, with a fan base of 23 million and counting on social, this is a global platform like none other that allows for conversations about the rights of women across the world.”

This comes three months after Paula Shugart left her role as president of the MUO. At the end of the Miss Universe 2023 national costume show last November, Shugart appeared on stage in El Salvador to give her message.