Gareb Shamus Resigns as Wizard World President and CEO
Gareb Shamus is no longer the President, CEO and Director of Wizard World, Inc. after resigning from his duties in a letter dated December 1. The news was made public in the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the move was made within a week of Shamus' much hyped but decidedly unsuccessful digital magazine, also called Wizard World, disappearing from the Internet. Shamus' blog on the Wizard World website has also been deleted.Because Wizard World, Inc. is a publicly traded company, it's obliged to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission any internal developments that would impact investors, developments like its President and CEO resigning. Shamus was also Director of Wizard World, Inc.
The resignation letter in full:
December 1, 2011
Board of Directors
Wizard World, Inc.
I hereby resign my positions as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Wizard World, Inc. (the "Company") effective immediately. The resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices.
Shamus dated his letter just one week after it was reported by us (with some degree of snark, we must confess) and others that Wizard World, the digital magazine he launched to much self-generated fanfare (following the unceremonious cancelation of industry mainstays Wizard: The Guide to Comics and ToyFare print magazines) failed to find an audience. The "Gareb's Blog" feature of Wizard World's company website, where the former CEO posted video interviews with comics creators and earnest odes to delicious cookies, has also vanished, apparently in concurrence with the exit of the Wizard founder. It is presumed that Shamus still owns a considerable stake in the company, which will continue to operate its convention business and other ventures, at least for now.
Much has been said about the polarizing management style of Gareb Shamus -- largely because so many of the people associated with him have been writers (including CA's Laura Hudson and Caleb Goellner, who freelanced for Wizard publications). The comics blogosphere and industry in general is populated with former Wizard employees (many of whom were laid off or fired under controversial circumstances) who can regale you with stories that are horrifying and hilarious in equal measure, like something out of the original British version of The Office but with a manager who was less Ricky Gervais and more Monty Burns.
Former staffer Chris Ward has blogged a hilarious series of remembrances of his dealings with the organization, but what's more damning in a way is the Fake Gareb Shamus Twitter account, which enjoys a bigger audience than the real Shamus. While the identity of the Tweeter is unknown, we're reliably informed that Fake Gareb's satirical musings are remarkably on point. Below are some recent transmissions addressing the news of Shamus' resignation:
The resignation of Gareb Shamus concludes a saga that began in 1991, when he founded Wizard: The Guide to Comics. Although Wizard failed to evolve with the times (particularly with respect to the Web), instigated the ongoing Con Wars and shipped its final issue with an irretrievably tarnished reputation, the magazine was once a resource and a reflection of pride for fans of mainstream comics, toys and gaming, whom at the time were generally relegated to the fringes of pop culture.