The man who has decided for 24 years where celebrities are seated at the Academy Awards is stepping down as a behind-the-scenes power broker.
The ceremony in March will be the last for Otto Spoerri, 68, who officially retired as controller of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Dec. 31.
The do's — and don'ts — of the jobs are considerable: Leading actor nominees, for example, are never seated together.
"You don't want to see a sad face next to a happy face," Spoerri said.
He's giving up his duties, but Spoerri plans to return each year from Zurich, Switzerland.
"The boss promised me two tickets as long as I live," Spoerri said. "I'll have to make sure my successor puts me in a decent seat."