After months of searching for the right person, Wizard World, the convention/website company, has hired John Macaluso as CEO. Macaluso, whose background is in the apparel business, was already on the board. We had a brief chat with Macaluso about the news last week, and he’s excited about the role. “We’re going to be running a better company and fans are going to see a difference in our shows.”
Wizard World has been shifting personnel and focus since founder Gareb Shamus was forced out late last year.
We’ll have a fuller interview with Macaluso in the near future.
Wizard World, Inc. (symbol: WIZD) (“Wizard World” or the “Company”), one of North America’s most diverse digital entertainment and events companies, announced that John Macaluso, a successful businessman and entrepreneur, has been named the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He had previously been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) in May 2011.
As a Board member, Macaluso has been instrumental in Wizard World’s growth and expansion in the Comic con event space in the last year. Event attendance at Comic Cons in New Orleans and Chicago have risen, while the Company has refocused on its core assets, added new stars to its events and cut costs. The latest example of that revamped face was announced last week, with “Thor” and “The Avengers” star Chris Hemsworth added to a star-studded list of Philadelphia Comic Con guests in June, along with headliners such as Stan Lee, William Shatner and dozens of other stars of the pop culture industry. The Company’s next event will be held in Toronto, April 14-15.
“We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of John Macaluso as Chief Executive Officer,” stated Mike Mathews, Wizard World Chairman. He continued, “John’s previous experience at founding and building a hundred-million dollar apparel company, contacts and entrepreneurial skills will certainly help the Wizard World brand expand its operations and sales base.”
John Macaluso stated, “I am excited to continue the momentum that the Wizard World Comic Con shows have built, and to help develop new strategies to take us to new levels of success. We have an outstanding lineup of events on the schedule with highly talented celebrities and artists and an outstanding team of professionals in place to maximize the Wizard World experience.”
A California resident, Macaluso has a long history of startup and entrepreneurial success. Most recently, his business reputation garment manufacturing company, California Concepts, sold its products to many of the major retailers in the United States, produced a private label for Wal-Mart and Target, sold branded goods to Federated Department Stores, serviced specialty chains such as Charming Shoppes and Maurice’s and purveyed an upscale label to Barneys New York. He sold the business in 2007, with Wizard World combining his great interest in both an entrepreneurship and the fast-growing world of pop culture and event entertainment.