There has been an executive shakeup at Geppi Family Enterprises, the parent company of Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of comic books in North America. Steve Geppi -- the company's founder, chairman, and CEO -- is taking over the role of president, replacing Stan Heidmann as he exits the company. Geppi offered no specific reasons for the move. It comes after some unexpected industry disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to two new comics distributors entering the market as DC Comics split from Diamond, ending an exclusive arrangement that had lasted decades.
Geppi announced the news in an email on Wednesday. Here's the statement:
"Today I am announcing an organizational change that will help us lean even further into the many opportunities to elevate our industry, our business, and our brands in this fast-moving and evolving marketplace.
Effective immediately, I am reassuming the role of President, Geppi Family Enterprises (GFE), in addition to my position as Chairman & CEO. Stan Heidmann will be departing the organization. I thank him for his contributions and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
As you know, I have a strong history of growing and leading this organization for several decades and I am energized about our next phase. I am supported by an exceptionally talented executive leadership team with deep expertise and an unwavering commitment to our industry as well as by the incredible teams they have built. I am proud and privileged to work with such amazing people.
Under my guidance, the executive leadership team will support a comprehensive strategic review to position the enterprise for future growth. I feel a tremendous responsibility to our employees and the industry, and I fully intend to set all Geppi Family Enterprise brands on a path for robust growth. I am confident we have the right leadership with talented teams in place and I see enormous opportunities for GFE.
You will be hearing more from me in the coming weeks as I am committed to keeping you all informed and involved. Be well, and I hope you find some time this holiday weekend to relax and recharge. Thank you for your continued support. I appreciate all you do."
Diamond held exclusive distribution deals for all of the major publishers in the direct market before DC Comics broke ranks. No other publisher has followed suit, with many reaffirming their commitment to Diamond. Marvel even announced "On Sale Wednesday" variant covers, apparently in response to DC releasing its new titles on Tuesdays since parting ways with Diamond.
Diamond stopped shipping new comics in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. It resumed shipments of new comics in late May.