Get to Know Your New DC Leadership Team

Diane Nelson, Dan Didio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, John Rood, and Patrick Caldon all comment on the recent changes in the DC Entertainment heirarchy.

Shortly after the HUGE announcment regarding the promotions and restructuring at DC Entertainment this morning, the DCU Blog posted notes from each of the parties involved. We have some excerpts for you, as well as links to the full posts:

First up is Diane Nelson, the President of DC Entertainment:

In terms of possible alternate candidates for the Publisher role, some very qualified names have been talked about and raised. Each have tremendous merit in his or her own right, but none other than this team were approached or considered seriously. Jeff Robinov’s and my interest in this specific combination of people – with their highly complementary talent – has been in play since very early on in this transition period. And our decision to pursue assembling this specific team was made as early as mid-November. Anyone who looks carefully will see that it can’t have been easy or quick to make this team happen. But equally, people must see how compelling it was to try.

It has been my observation that business partnerships – actually, any partnership, really – are rarely effective unless the partners choose each other. This partnership – both Dan and Jim as Co-Publishers and Geoff, John and Pat as executive partners with them – was a very organic and natural one. And this team is brimming with respect for one another and excitement at what this combination can achieve.

And so, a word or two about each:

– Jim Lee is one of the top artists and creators in the business. But he is also an astonishingly smart and experienced businessman. He has a calm, confident and reassuring leadership style that will be enormously valuable to every member of the DC Entertainment and DC Comics team. He is fully adept and experienced at building a publishing program on his own, and will partner with Dan in doing so, but he also brings an affinity and passion for digital that will help the DC Comics business move aggressively into the future.

– Dan DiDio is one of the most passionate and energetic leaders I have ever seen. He cares deeply about these characters and stories, and equally about the people who bring them to life at and with DC Comics. He knows how to manage the day-in, day-out mechanics of the publishing program, with his own strong creative sense, and he has great experience from prior to DC in adapting stories for other platforms.

– Geoff Johns has an unparalleled creative mind and a huge heart. He brings a level of enthusiasm, passion and optimism to every discussion I have with him that is so motivating. He will be instrumental in establishing the tone and culture of creative risk and business growth that we intend for DC Entertainment. And he will ensure the integrity of how we bring these characters and stories to fans across every entertainment platform.

– John Rood is a long-time colleague and friend. I have been looking for a way to work with him again ever since we met during his first stint at Warner Bros. 10 years ago. John was smart and accomplished then, but he has built and grown his professional experience in his 10 years at ABC Family in a way that makes him uniquely qualified for the job I envisioned. John will be a passionate, innovative marketer of the DC Comics publishing program, while he helps us build DC Entertainment and its library with internal divisions across Time Warner and Warner Bros. He will treat our retail customers and our consumers like the superheroes they are. And we’re lucky to have him on this team.

– Pat Caldon. What can I say about Pat that people don’t already know, particularly inside DC Comics? He is a rock. He is deeply knowledgeable and much more creatively passionate than he lets on. He cares about everyone and everything associated with DC and he will be an instrumental partner to all of us in building the company for the future.

Next is a note from Jim Lee and Dan Didio, the new Publishers of DC Entertainment:

But you can’t just change everything, simply for the sake of change.

And that’s where we come in. With our respective experiences and history with DC and our relationships with the world’s best writers and artists, our mission is to reinvent DC Comics to prepare it for the challenges and opportunities in this quickly changing world. With the Co-Publisher structure, it’s going to allow us to be in many places at once, both literally and metaphorically; to better position DC as one of the great creative engines which fuels and defines so much of our world’s Pop Culture while making sure we continue to address and redefine what makes DC’s characters so great. Thankfully, we already have between all the talented, hardworking staffers that comprise DC, Vertigo, WildStorm and Mad—one of the greatest, most experienced editorial teams one could hope for to do just that, and we look forward to working with everyone to propel DC to new heights.

Given how long we have known each other and how well we know our individual strengths and skill sets, there’s going to be some easygoing but frank, healthy discussion about how we can accomplish these goals, especially as we get into the specifics of what reinvention means. We look forward to sharing the results of that dialogue with you going forward into the future. Till then, we would like to pause at this moment in DC Comics’ tremendously rich and storied history to simply state not only how honored we are to be chosen to carry forth its legacy but how excited we feel about the prospect of adding to it. Former DC President/Publisher Paul Levitz has been the driving force behind much of that legacy, and we owe much to his prescient guidance and steadfast professionalism. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants–thank you, Paul.

Next, a note from Geoff Johns, the new Chief Creative Officer:

So what does a “Chief Creative Officer” do? Well, I still wear t-shirts and write and go to conventions, but I’ll be doing a whole lot more too.

Under the leadership of Jim and Dan, I’ll continue writing and giving my creative input as I have been in comic books. But expanding onto that, Diane’s asked me to take our comic book world, embrace it (as I do) and use it to lead the creative charge on bringing it all to film, toys, television, video games, animation and beyond. The Justice Society appearing on Smallville was only the beginning.

Let’s all let this sink in a little more: Martin Campbell of Casino Royale is directing Green Lantern. And over the last few months, I’ve met with Ryan Reynolds to talk all-things Green Lantern, I’ve worked closely with Green Lantern producer Donald Deline and screenwriter Michael Goldenberg on the script (Aw yeah, Kilowog!) and I’ve realized that the Green Lantern comics and film and everything growing out of them (wait until you see what!) is only the beginning of what DC Entertainment has coming our way under Diane and Jeff Robinov’s leadership. And I have to say something about Jeff too. He’s made Warner Brothers the most successful and artist-friendly studio out there and that will carry over into DC Entertainment. He knows what we know: the potential of DC is infinite. We couldn’t be in better hands on that front. Expect the characters we love, the A-list and the ones even you and I might barely know, to be shepherded into the “outside world” with respect, care and unbridled energy. They’ll be plenty of Batman and Superman, but there are a whole lot of characters from the DC Universe, Mad, Vertigo and Wildstorm waiting to be unleashed.

They might say, “The sky is the limit!” at other places when looking at the new opportunities ahead. They think too small. We all know the sky isn’t the limit at DC. The universe isn’t even the limit. There isn’t one.

And now, a note from John Rood, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development:

For 20 years, I have had the good fortune of working only on stuff I’m very passionate about – from commercials to television to movies to websites.  And for classic brands that refuse to rest on their laurels – from McDonald’s to Miller to Disney Channel to ABC.  It’s great to be keeping these streaks alive – back again at Warner Bros., back again in the DC Universe. I am told I was hired because of my experience in entertainment marketing – to kids and families, to young women, to the urban market, across multimedia, with trade partners, with a limited budget, etc.

I have already been identified as an insider fan with an outsider POV. So here’s my POV – there is so much going so well for so many things across DC. An unequaled collection of characters and stories. A commitment to quality content that’s nothing short of inspiring. I see no publisher serving the needs of the Direct Market better, and no publisher with a more extensive catalogue of books and trades in the mass market channel. These imperatives are not possible without our cherished retailer partners, with whom I look forward to working most closely.

What has kept me from a good night sleep so far is the issue of Balance – balancing what’s best for the traditional business channels with what will be best for the future of the business and the art form, balancing what superserves the current superfans with what will serve an entirely new generation of fans, balancing promotion with profit, etc.

Finally, some words from Patrick Caldon, the new Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration:

Today’s announcement signals change, but change that comes with continuity. Familiar faces (Dan and Jim and Geoff) and familiar people behind the scenes (like this onetime blogger) are joined by new faces (Diane and John). It’s a dynamic team, one with an eye on the future and an appreciation for the past. You’ll be hearing more about our plans for the future in the weeks and months to come.

But before we get there, in appreciation of the past, I’d like to offer a public tip of the cap to my longtime colleague and boss, Paul Levitz, as he returns to his writing roots and to the adventures of the 31st Century. Under his leadership, DC Comics has been an industry innovator and I’m proud to have been part of the magic of these past twenty five years. Thank you, Paul.

Here’s to your future—and the future of DCE and DC Comics.

This is surely exciting news, and will hopefully lead to big things for the future of DC Comics. The Outhouse certainly wishes all parties the best of luck in their new positions.

Source: DCU Blog
Syndicated from The Outhouse – The Greatest Comic Book Website
Posted originally: 2010-02-18 11:44:05

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