A note from Diane Nelson
Well, we’re finally here. The announcement so many have been waiting for – and a few of us have been waiting anxiously to make. I’m very happy to present the new leadership team for DC Entertainment, including our new Co-Publishers of DC Comics!
I simply couldn’t be prouder or more excited to be working alongside these amazingly talented gentlemen. And I couldn’t have more faith in the promise of the future for DC and its deeply talented employees.
Before I share a few thoughts on each of these leaders, I’d like to acknowledge some of the rumors that have understandably been swirling around in the days and weeks leading up to today.
First, what we announced in September was the creation of DC Entertainment as a company and my role running it. We also shared the fact that Paul Levitz would continue to operate as Publisher of DC Comics until his replacement was announced. Paul has continued to operate as Publisher of DC Comics over the past 5 months, as I took time to learn about the organization, consider how I want to structure the company for the future and who I want to run it with me. He made sure the business kept working and people knew someone was on the ground with them, looking out for their interests.
I thank Paul for that continuity and commitment to me, Warner Bros. and the DC business and team. I know it was not an easy time for him or for the employees at DC – and I’m thrilled that he can now turn his full attention to writing; something I know he is excited about, as are fans.
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.
At some point during the September announcement flurry, Paul and I were talking about what I was taking on as President of DC Entertainment. He pointed out to me that I was about to step in to the greatest job in the world at arguably the greatest company in the world. The last 6 months, while anxious and difficult ones for all of you at DC Comics, have demonstrated to me how true Paul’s words were.
Among the many incredibly fun experiences I’ve had over this period, was a recent one week stint in which I had the honor to have dinner with Neil Gaiman one night and Grant Morrison and his awesome wife, Kristan, the next. That fact alone should be enough to illustrate my point about the greatest job in the world. But during each of those conversations, we touched on the crossroads at which DC finds itself.
From Neil came the eloquently concise assessment that what I was talking about for the future of DC Entertainment was “no fear”. So true; my job, with this team of amazing executives, is to support and create a safe environment for creative risks and business innovation.
And from Grant and Kristan was the observation that we’re at the starting point of the next era for DC Comics and DC Entertainment. Preceded by so many interesting, passionate, talented leaders, we are continuing a legacy and building upon it – together.
Let’s have fun and work hard to make this next era the best yet and thank you to everyone at DC for your patience and professionalism with me as I take the time to make careful, thoughtful and meaningful changes that set us all up for success.