Anime Expo Parent's CEO Michael Lattanzio Steps Down

posted on by Egan Loo
SPJA Chair Marc Perez assumes interim CEO duties for parent of N. America's largest anime con

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the parent organization of the Anime Expo convention, has announced on Saturday that its CEO Michael Lattanzio is "leaving on good terms to pursue other projects." SPJA Chairman of the Board Marc Perez has assumed Lattanzio's duties in the interim. Anime Expo is the largest convention devoted to Japanese animation and manga in North America.

SPJA hired Lattanzio as its president and chief executive officer in 2009, and he remained as its head during the Anime Expo 2010 convention this past July. During his tenure, multiple Anime Expo staffers, including the majority of the convention's division managers, resigned in a dispute with Lattanzio and the board. Lattanzio presided when Anime Expo assembled one of its largest guest lineups to date. Anime Expo reported a turnstile attendance of over 105,000 this year, compared to over 109,000 last year. ("Turnstile attendance" is the number of attendees on each day added together, so a person who uses a four-day pass is counted four times.)

Lattanzio is SPJA's third formal CEO since 2005, when then-CEO Jennifer Pon resigned her post. Trulee Karahashi served as SPJA's CEO from 2007 to 2009. On March 27, 2009, Karahashi was dismissed in what she described as a termination. SPJA announced its hiring of Lattanzio on September 8, 2009. Perez was one of several individuals who temporarily headed SPJA during the interim period between Pon and Karahashi's tenures, and again during the interim period between Karahashi and Lattanzio's tenures.

Thanks to BladeBraver for the news tip.

Update: More background information added.

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