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At San Diego the hottest barroom chatter was when and who there would be top exec removed at Marvel. And today we have reports that EVP and GN Peter Phillips and  VP Digital media Kristen Vincent have both been let go

Philips joined Marvel in 2011 and played a big part in Marvel’s expansion into digital, in publishing, gaming and streaming media. He was promoted from SVP to EVP in 2013. Vincent also joined Marvel in 2011 and both were a big  part of Marvel’s public face to investors, often appearing at events such as SXSW or, as in this case, Phillips at the 2016 GamesBeat Summit 2016:

GamesBeat: Can you quickly walk through what you do, where you sit in the structure of Marvel?

Peter Phillips: My job involves three parts. The interactive piece of what I do is digital media, websites, apps, social media, plus games, which is separated out at our company. The third piece is content distribution to emerging platforms like the Netflix series, Daredevil and so on.

GamesBeat: You were talking about how Marvel is a pretty flat structure.

Phillips: We’re pretty non-hierarchical, yeah. It’s a lean organization. It works.

VERY lean. The departure of Phillips and Vincent follows a pattern of high level personnel being purged when sales slump. COO Jim Sokolowski was removed in 2011 (he’s since rejoined DC, making him a two-timer at both companies, amazingly.)  Digital & Marketing SVP John Dokes was let go in 2012, followed by  SVP/associate publisher Ruwan Jayatilleke in 2013.

Basically, I’m told, when people reach a certain level at Marvel, there is no place to go and they make too much money so its out the door they go. Also, digital maybe isn’t a huge profit center, so not the best place to be, as both Dokes and Jayatilleke’s departures shows.

It’s also an easy way to cut 6 figures from the budget. All part of Ike’s Way. I don’t know too much about Vincent, but Phillips was a well thought of exec and he should have no problem landing on his feet, as should Vincent.

Are the departures over at Marvel? I’m told there is a big struggle going on internally there, although it’s the kind of “smoke from the mountain top” thing where the details are hard to see from peon level. Word on the street type speculation is that at this time next year either E-i-c Axel Alonso or svp Sales and Marketing David Gabriel will have a new Linked In profile.  But that could also be wishful thinking. I’ll say this, when both appeared on stage together at the Marvel presentation at the Diamond Lunch at SDCC, it was a very rare and special moment.

Via

7 COMMENTS

  1. Won’t be sad to see Alonso go. Not sure what his rep with the comics press has been, but to us angry fans he (and Tom Brevoort) always had the rep of being one of the biggest enablers for guys like Bendis and Slott.

    Especially in terms of letting Bendis do whatever he wanted on Avengers, Iron Man, and GotG.

    Alonso was usually blamed for not riding herd on Bryan Hitch on the original Ultimates run and refusing to bring-in guest artists to keep the title on schedule.

    Maybe now we can get someone willing to push Bendis aside and have black writers write Miles Morales and Riri Williams.

  2. God, I hope Alonso gets the axe. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end of SJW Marvel. The termites have spread pretty deep. Especially when you have writers, artists and editors being outright antagonistic towards fans and critics.

    The stories have nothing but trash. I used to pick up 5 or 6 Marvel titles a month, but I’d be hard-pressed to actually pay money for one of their books now. When they start putting out something good again and keep their talent from attacking critics, I’ll start buying again.

  3. I remember Alonso was usually the designated “fall guy” during the Bill Jemas-Joe Quesada era when it came to talking to the press and trying to make excuses for massive delays on a lot of the titles from that era.

    —-

    I also find the admission that sales at Marvel Digital may not be doing all that great to be interesting.

    I saw a lot of snark in the “comments” section on various articles at CBR, IGN, and the AV Club during San Diego Comic Con that digital sales on the celebrated “Ms. Marvel” were actually getting pretty bad and nowhere near what they had been just a year ago.

    There weren’t any actual articles from any of the reputable comic book news sources, (because bad sales on Ms. Marvel doesn’t fit the narrative many comic book journalists are trying to spin), but there has certainly been a lot of talk in fan circles to convince me that digital sales actually have collapsed for Ms. Marvel.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the same were true for Batgirl. We’ll know for sure if, by this time next year, “hipster” Batgirl has been abandoned and we’re back to getting a fan servicey artist like Terry Dodson or Adam Hughes as the regular artist on Babs’ book.

  4. “digital maybe isn’t a huge profit center”
    Presumably that’s because of sales volumes? One would imagine the profit per sale on digital is a lot higher than a print comic sale (even after Comixology’s cut).

    CC

  5. Interesting… the top five graphic novels in Kindle Unlimited (ebooks) are Marvel titles:
    Darth Vader, Deadpool, Ms. Marvel, Star Wars, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
    (The Top 16 superhero ebook titles are Marvel.)

    8 of the top 24 titles on Comixology are Marvel. I do not see Ms. Marvel in the top 504 titles.
    It is possible that readers are now waiting for the digital trades.

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