John Textor has resigned as Digital Domain’s CEO and chairman of the board. Variety reports that longtime company exec Ed Ulbrich will take over as chief executive as part of a strategic realignment includes shutting down the company’s headquarters in Port St. Lucie, Fla. About 20 employees there will remain for the wind-down period. However, the closure doesn’t affect the studios in California and Vancouver and the Digital Domain Institute in West Palm Beach.
The company, which has grave financial troubles, said the move will enable it to focus resources on its core business of digital visual effects, CG animation and digital production for entertainment and advertising as it explores ways to restructure its debt and slash overhead. The group reached a temporary truce with lenders earlier this week after defaulting on the terms of its loans. Creditors agreed not for force repayment of $35 million in principal for a while as the company examines options. They could include refinancing by an undisclosed institutional investor or equity investment by a business partner.
The company’s recent troubles began in mid-August after it disclosed that its available cash fell short of the levels required by a covenant in an agreement with holders of a $35M Senior Note. Digital Domain has lost about 90% of its market value since the beginning of 2012. Its stock is down nearly 34% today to 65 cents a share.