MoviePass EVP Khalid Itum Exits Months After Promotion To Top Operational Role; Mitch Lowe Takes Reins

By Amanda N'Duka, Dade Hayes

Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock

Just months after being elevated to Executive Vice President and manager of day-to-day operations at MoviePass, Khalid Itum, has left the struggling subscription moviegoing company.

Until his promotion last fall, Itum previously served as Vice President of Business Development, working with CEO Mitch Lowe and Ted Farnsworth, CEO of parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics. As of Friday, Lowe will take over Itum’s responsibilities. The writing may have been on the wall last week when the company sent a press release about its new path as a company and Itum was never mentioned.

“As previously stated, MoviePass has moved in a new strategic direction and will be refocusing our business model to create a more closely connected relationship between our subscription service and original content production unit, MoviePass Films,” MoviePass said in a statement. “This strategic shift has been accompanied by changes within the company. Khalid Itum will be leaving MoviePass to pursue his entrepreneurial and travel pursuits. Mitch Lowe will assume all of Itum’s roles and responsibilities, effective March 15. Several roles and individuals within MoviePass, including Joey Adarkway and Jake Peterson, are transitioning from full time employees to contracted consulting roles based on this directional shift.”

The news of Itum’s departure comes the day after the parent company of MoviePass, Helios and Matheson, said it was restating its most recent quarterly financial results to reflect lower revenue and a wider net loss. An SEC filing about the restatement blamed “material weakness” in the company’s interior controls – not exactly music to investors’ ears.

Shareholders are trading shares nowadays over the counter, following the company’s ouster from the Nasdaq last month. They tumbled nearly 14% to $0.0105 today on the news about Itum.

Founded in 2011, the company that introduced a new way of moviegoing has been hit with much turmoil, growing rapidly but without the resources to fund ticket purchases under its initial plan allowing subscribers to see one movie a day. In January, MoviePass implemented new subscription options, which preserved limits of three films a month. As they readied the changes, the company showcased Itum last December, who was photographed next to Lowe for a New York Times feature about the company’s mission to change course. “I don’t believe that today people trust the MoviePass brand,” the executive told the paper at the time.

As it faces ongoing pressure on its ticketing business, with exhibitors like AMC and Cinemark mounting their own subscription plans, Helios also sought to diversify with the launch of MoviePass Films and subsequent acquisition of Emmett Furla Oasis Films. Releases from the production arm include American Animals and the John Travolta-starrer Gotti, both box office disappointments. It is currently backing the Al Pacino-starring historical epic Axis Sally, which is in production.

Business Insider had the first report of Itum’s exit.

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