The claim and counterclaim between convention organizer Wizard World and former Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Shamus have been settled, according to court orders, and the case ordered closed. The nature of the settlement was not revealed, and will not become public unless the parties agree to have the court enforce the settlement within 30 days.
Recent filings by Wizard World allege that Shamus’ dissatisfaction with being passed over for CEO may have begun the deterioration of his relationship with the company. Wizard World brought in John Maatta to run Wizard World last April, after the company reported a $4.3 million loss in 2015 (see “Wizard World Brings in New CEO”).
In an affidavit filed with the court, Maatta reported that in late September or early October of 2016, he and Shamus had a conversation in which Shamus stated that he resented being “passed over” twice as CEO and that he was tired of “training” CEOs.
Communication soon broke down and the dispute headed for court, around issues that had nothing to do with the CEO post. Wizard World originally sued Shamus in October, alleging that it was owed over $1 million for celebrity autographs that Shamus had diverted to himself (see “Wizard World Files Suit Against Steve Shamus”). Shamus countersued in November, alleging that he was owed over $525,000 in unpaid compensation (see “Shamus Countersues Wizard World”).
In December, Shamus started a new agency to book talent for conventions (see “Former Wizard World CMO Forms Agency”). And in filings that month, Shamus alleged a battle over control of the company, in which some shareholders were allied with him (see “Boardroom Fight at Wizard World”).
Now all claims and counterclaims have been settled, Maatta remains as CEO, the company has obtained $2.475 million in new financing (see “Wizard World Secures Financing – At a Cost”), and Shamus presumably will move on with his new talent booking agency for celebrity appearances at conventions.