Comeback Kid?

Looks like Ex-Digital Domain CEO John Textor is already plotting his comeback:

Textor on Wednesday bid $1 million for all of the Digital Domain Media Group computers, equipment and furniture that’s being auctioned this week as part of the company’s bankruptcy.

After the first day of the three-day auction brought in $750,000, Textor’s bid looks likely to fall short, said Nick Dove, director of sales for auctioneer Heritage Global Partners.

“His offer won’t be accepted,” Dove said.

Other reports show that there has been an on going auction for DD Florida assets (which ironically came from shuttered ImageMovers Digital) and Textor unloading a very small house.

Soldier On.



21 Responses to Comeback Kid?

  1. Easy says:

    I refuse to feel sorry for anyone who gets involved with this guy anymore. It’s obvious he intends to return to the industry, one that is supposedly unprofitable…

  2. Dave Rand says:

    What appeared as a cash bleeding cow was actually a gravy train for a handful of cowboys. Companies don’t stay in business year after year with those kinds of losses without someone profiting from their existence. This warped notion of vfx remaining forever a doomed business is the result of the actions of a handful of studio executives and politicians. Bite the hand that feeds? Consider that maybe WE are the hand.

  3. FireExtinguisher123 says:

    I stumbled upon an interview, conducted in 2002, where John Textor answers questions about a struggling company he was in charge of, Sims Sports, Inc.

    This seems awful familiar to me. So what happens if he is successful in acquiring assets of DDMG?

    Truthfully, I would really like to meet the individuals who continue to loan Mr. Textor large sums of money. I’m a bit short on cash myself, and I got an amazing business venture I wish to discuss with them… trust me on this one, you can’t lose…

  4. Postletithe says:

    Delusional. Who wants a bunch of old computers, desks and task chairs? I leap at chances to clear old crap out of my facility.

  5. Scott Ross says:

    Consider this:

    John Textor is a complex individual. Some have questioned whether he is diabolical or delusional. Some have said he is both. Others still believe that he was well intentioned. Some were willing to turn over their houses for stock, loan millions of dollars and some even still support him to this day.

    DDMG has been a public catastrophe. His other business disasters ( Lydian Bank, SIMS Snowboards, Baby Universe) while awful for many were not as public or as large as DDMG. The DDMG fiasco has made the Textor name synonymous, especially in FLA, with greed and mismanagement.

    Mr. Textor could be facing multiple law suits. Many have reported that he remains sequestered in his mansion. It must be difficult for him to have fallen so far from his perch as the man that was going to bring Hollywood to FLA. Until just recently, he was revered by many in Southern FLA. Big promises, big dreams, great opportunity.

    While Mr. Textor has been vilified in FLA, there are still some that find it difficult to believe that he had made millions while taking public funds. There are some that still believe that John Textor was doing the right thing, that he cared about FLA and that his intentions were righteous.

    When John “resigned” as DDMG’s CEO he had said “…As you are aware, I am in profound disagreement with the decision to close our animation and visual effects studio in the wonderful community of Port St. Lucie, Florida. The people of Florida welcomed us with open arms and we certainly owed them greater consideration. We were able to hire and train local residents and have them mentored by the very best of our industry. Our incredibly talented artists and filmmakers were building something truly special in Port St. Lucie, not just our favorite first film, The Legend of Tembo, but also our first home, Tradition Studios. I am deeply saddened and heartbroken by this decision.”

    When I first read this statement, my reaction was ” really?”

    TEMBO/PSL animation studio was burning cash and was not sustainable. TEMBO/PSL was the reason why DDMG went bankrupt. John Textor used to crow about the fact that he was a sophisticated financial guy. If that is true, how could he possibly believe that TEMBO/PSL could continue?

    So, I took a different view of Textor’s “resignation” statement. And I take the same view of Textor’s ongoing statements about PSL and his latest “effort” to buy the assets of PSL for a cool million dollars.

    John Textor is trying to save face.

    Maybe John Textor needs the residents of his home state, his home town to believe that he really is a well intentioned guy… that things just went amuck, that shit happened. Maybe it’s just that John wants to hold his head high and say “I am still a believer in FLA and PSL”.

    The $1million bid was a low ball offer. And if he actually won, where would the million come from?

    After all that has happened, John can’t possibly want to get back in. He can’t possibly believe anyone will lend him any more money. He can’t possibly believe TEMBO will succeed. He can’t possibly believe he has the knowledge to run a successful business…. unless he is delusional.

    Personally, I don’t think John is delusional at all.

    • jonavark says:

      I have a feeling that if he gets that gear it will end up in a school. He may be working on his karma now.

    • vfxartist says:

      Scott, I think you give him too much credit.

      I think Textor is an example of how some CEO have the personality traits of a psychopath: egocentrism (literally in his how world), impulsive, shallow emotions such as a lack of remorse. while having a superficial charm. His track record speaks to that. Unfortunately business nowadays seems to endorse such characteristics as “risk takers”. The difference between responsible capitalism and Genghis Khan conquest.

      • Scott Ross says:

        What happened to our sense of ethics? What happened to doing the right thing? What happened to being a tough businessman yet playing by the rules?

        What saddens me is that there are people in our country that are really hurting and yet business supports the self serving “I got mine, screw you” attitudes of so many of these 1 per centers and their politician cronies.

        I’m the last person to give John Textor any credit…. believe me. He ruined the company that I founded.

        I am shocked however at the people, press and pundits that I talk to that still believe in Textor, that still can’t fathom what really happened.

        A slick sales dude, that had failed so many times before, convinced good people and the state of FLA to part with huge sums of money whilst taking gigantic compensation, outrageous stock options, personal loans, bartered homes for himself and all the while losing hundreds of millions of dollars and uprooting families selling them a dream… that could never happen.

      • Paul says:

        I’d recommend reading “Battle for the Soul of Capitalism” by John C. (Jack Bogle)

        Bogle is the inventor of the Index Fund, and founder and past chairmen of the Vanguard Group, the first investor-owned mutual fund. While he’s written a number of books on investing, “Soul” was the first he wrote addressing the changes he’s seen in his long career in finance.

        A central tenet of the book is the shift from what Bogle terms “owners’ capitalism”, which is to say management of a company in the interest of its owners (i.e. shareholders) to “managers’ capitalism” where a company’s action primarily benefit those in the executive suite. This change (Bogle terms it a perversion if I recall correctly) mirrored the rise of the “rock star CEO”, huge inflation in executive compensation, and management of a company for short term quarterly results in lieu of creating long term value.

        I’d go a step further to say that when corporations place shareholder value above all else, other important stakeholders get the shaft. This includes employees, the community in which a company does business, and in certain cases the health of the planet as a whole.

      • Easy says:

        I often wonder why some companies go public in the first place. It seems that frequently a decline in the product and the employee’s experience soon follows in the name of shareholder value. Often because guys like this, who are and have always been just management, get involved at the top levels.

      • Scott Ross says:

        I agree Paul, but in this case the CEO wasn’t putting shareholder value above everything else, he was putting his value above everything else.

      • Paul says:

        We actually agree more than you realize Scott. When CEOs and others acting in their own best interest, rather than that of shareholders, employees, etc. that is the cornerstone of “managers’ capitalism”

    • whatever says:

      To be fair, the general idea behind own ip, teaching and mothership to get another financial influx/base wasn’t wrong,.. the wrongdoing was the _dispropotional_ action (=money / human ressources spending) in all three standpoints.

      But this is very imho and from my outside perspective defintive wrong and disproportional.

      • Scott Ross says:

        You’re preaching to the choir. My business plan for DD was always to be in the content business. Not quite sure what Mothership is and what it does and not quite sure of the relationship between FSU and DD was worthwhile to DD…. but content ownership is critical to financial success. That being said the Business Plan and cashflow for TEMBO/PSL was totally wrong, naive, and ill formed.

  6. Julie Miller says:
    Roster of talented directors creating great work in the advertising/ marketing realm.

  7. Scott Ross says:

    thanks Julie…. So they (it) are a commercial production company…. got it.

  8. Scott Ross says:

    When I was running DD, I always felt that owning a commercial production company would be counter productive to operating a VFX commercial post facility since we would have been directly competing w our clients ( commercial prod companies). I guess the concept of dog eat dog competition in the Commercials business has changed in the past six years and the likes of @Radical and MJZ do not see DD as competition with owning Mothership. I wonder how the Commercial Division revenues are tracking since Mothership was established and what do the consolidated revenues look like?

  9. A says:

    I agree with all the outrage regarding Textor. He deserves the outrage.

    However, I feel like there’s a bit of 20/20 hindsight, armchair quarterbacking going on regarding everyone’s opinion of Textor. Everybody chiming in here and elsewhere are calling him out for being a crook, but where were your warnings when he got the CEO job? I’m referring to everyone in the industry and everyone railing against him here now.

    There were rumblings in the blogosphere when DD’s stock starting tanking. But prior to them going public, there was plenty of time for Florida to look behind the curtain and vet the guy, AND for all the armchair quarterbacks (us) to have supposedly called him out and said, “Hey, don’t work for that guy. Here’s his track record.” It never happened, as far as I noticed.

    I really didn’t read anything about his horrible track record from that many, if any, news sources in the past.

    My point is, why don’t we do a better job researching what execs and companies are doing in our industry? How many Textors are running VFX, animation, and game studios right now, and are currently ramming the industry into an iceberg? I bet a lot.

    I think we can do a better job in this regard, including myself. This blog so far is the only one I’ve read that actually digs into what people are doing and getting the word out.

  10. Scott Ross says:


    Textor didn’t get the job as DD’s CEO. He bought it.

  11. what does swag stand for funny

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