Marvel’s SVP associate publisher Ruwan Jayatilleke has been let go, CBR reports. An 8-year Marvel veteran, Jayatilleke was promoted in 2011 and was behind many of their new business initiatives over that period, including the Stephen King and Halo graphic novels, and most recently, working on the digital and trade book businesses.

Although better known behind the scenes, Jayatilleke was a frequent message board poster, as a recent post here revealed. He was also looking forward to debuting Marvel’s new and still veiled #1 initiative at SXSW.

While the factors behind Jayatilleke’s departure aren’t known, it’s part of a recent pattern of top level executive departures for Marvel, mostly due to budgetary decrees by legendary penny pincher chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter. In 2012, SVP of Integrated Sales and Marketing, Publishing and Digital Media John Dokes was let go, and in 2011 it was Chief Operating Officer Jim Sokolowski. Being a high-level business exec at Marvel seems to be a fairly perilous job.

Jayatilleke was formerly at Scholastic and has a strong portfolio under his belt. As they say, he should land on his feet and we wish him well.


  1. From his LinkedIn profile:
    “Drive revenue strategies and tactics for Marvel Publishing by leading the sales, marketing, and pr team. Oversight over global and territory licensing of comic book and graphic novel rights. Macro oversight of licensed published products of Marvel intellectual property. Lead producer of Marvel Knights Animation.”

  2. A bit confused.

    Either he was fired for something other than performance, or the performance numbers he was touting weren’t quite as successful.

  3. Corporations are weird. The farther up the ladder you go, the less your job is evaluated on performance and the more beuacratic weirdness you have to do. I’m willing to bet Mr. Jayatilleke wasn’t let go because he wasn’t doing a good job.

    I don’t understand why anyone would want to work for Marvel or DC in any capacity. I work for a large corporation that treats everyone like crap and compared to Marvel/DC, it seems like heaven.

  4. The wording of two sentences in CBR’s article on Jayatilleke suggests that his departure was less than amicable:

    CBR News has learned that Marvel Comics has dismissed SVP Associate Publisher Ruwan Jayatilleke. [. . .]

    When asked about the move, a spokesman for Marvel offered no comment.

    If a corporation plans for an executive’s departure, there will normally be a statement issued regarding the reassignment of duties, the executive’s future plans, etc. The statement might just be for show, but it will allow the people involved to save face. There’s no saving of face in CBR’s article. The word dismissed almost certainly means fired.


  5. I know that he is a major share holder, but how long will Perlmutter be allowed to poke his nose into other people’s divisions and run off talented Marvel employees? I have no idea if Mr. Jayatilleke left or was removed, or the reasons; but it seems to fit a pattern of well regarded people at Marvel either being shown the door for nebulous reasons or heading for the hills, on their own, running and screaming.

  6. Not so sure this is Mr. Perlmutter’s influence so much as it may very well be the shadow of ‘the mouse’ increasing in size and influence.

  7. @Argh: Maybe, but murmurs keep popping up on Disney sites that Ike keeps trying to meddle in other areas of the company and that nobody in Disney or Pixar wants to deal with the man. Between Marvel’s profits and Perlmutter’s status as a major stockholder, he’s been left alone to run Marvel as he sees fit. As long as Marvel makes money, its expected that he will be left alone.

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