Digital Domain Closes Florida Studio, CEO Textor Resigns
Ed Ulbrich Named CEO of Digital Domain Productions
Digital Domain Media Group CEO and Chair John Textor abruptly resigned today, as the company announced a "strategic realignment" that would begin with the closing its operations in Port St. Lucie, Florida, including the Tradition Studios division that was to develop new animated feature films.
With Textor's departure, longtime executive Ed Ulbrich has been named CEO of Digital Domain Productions.
DDMG said its studios in California and Vancouver would remain open, along with the Digital Domain Institute, its education partnership with Florida State University in West Palm Beach. In June, The Palm Beach Post said the Port St. Lucie facility employed 320. About 20 of those employees will remain on staff as operations shut down, the company said.
The company seemed to have dodged a bullet — at least temporarily — earlier this week when it said it had defaulted on six loans, but quickly received an extension that would allow it to continue working on a plan to satisfy the lenders. Those extensions can be terminated with 48 hours' notice. In a filing with the SEC today, the company said it was evaluating "certain proposals" that would keep the company afloat, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
UPDATE 12 NOON EDT: Here's John Textor's letter of resignation, courtesy TCPalm.
UPDATE 1:40 PM EDT: DDMG issued another press release to clarify that the company's board of directors and the interim COO, Michael Katzenstein, who was named earlier this week are running DDMG. "The company is weighing its options with regard to appointing a new chairman and CEO," the release said. Digital Domain Productions, which is now headed by Ed Ulbrich, is DDMG's VFX-services component.