Robertson will focus on the Oscarcast, awards rules and categories. His duties of overseeing the staff and operations will be absorbed by other staffers. He has been with the Acad for 32 years.
In his letter of resignation, he said he “arrived at this decision with considerable deliberation and, as many of you know, after a three-month hiatus.” The sabbatical “gave me the opportunity to think about how I can more fully realize my goals. This is just the first step on that path.”
CEO Dawn Hudson, who joined the Acad when Robertson was promoted from executive administrator, said in a memo to the staff that “Ric has been a wonderful friend and partner to me these last couple of years” and said it’s hard to lose someone “who is so much a part of the fabric of this organization.”
Though industry types always suspect the worst when someone makes a change at a high-profile level, sources said Robertson initiated the move and that reaction was positive and supportive from Hudson, Acad president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the board. A day after the story broke on Variety, Robertson blogged “I think I may have underestimated my friends.”
Robertson joined AMPAS in 1981 as assistant programmer and was exec administrator from 1989-2011. In that time, he worked on staff expansion, outreach programs, the creation of the film archives and sci-tech council among other duties.