If there’s anything that you can count on in Corporate America, it’s that when one larger corporation begins to take control over another, there’s likely to be personnel changes, and they usually start at the top. MMAPayout.com has reason to believe this may be exactly what’s happening to EliteXC president, Gary Shaw.
Speculation within the MMA industry suggests that Gary Shaw’s days at ProElite may be numbered. Rumors suggest that Shaw may be out by the end of the summer, possibly soon after the July 26 CBS event. Multiple sources have told MMAPayout.com that the expected move is another example of CBS’s growing influence on the company. Santa Monica Capital Partners, the largest shareholder in the company, is also believed to have taken a more active role in the company of late.
Under terms of its deal with ProElite, CBS is entitled to purchase 500,000 shares of stock in the company each time it broadcasts a show on CBS. Based on those options and warrrants already exercised in conjunction with the CBS and Showtime deals, CBS Corporation is believed to be the second largest shareholder in the company.
If this is what Dana White keeps calling a “stupid deal,” I, for once, agree with him. The difference is that ProElite’s best chance of survival was cutting a deal like this, whereas the UFC is financially prospering on its own.
Damn, the corporate world is ruthless.
[UPDATE 6/25/08 10:03PM ET] – In an interview with MMARated.com, Jared Shaw responds to the reports that Gary Shaw will be removed from his post at ProElite and EliteXC in the near future.
All the reports I have read have been absolutely erroneous. There’s no truth to CBS pushing Gary Shaw out or anything like that. Gary might not be as much in the limelight because of his other business, which is boxing. He’s also spending a little more time at home with the rest of his family. You’re going to see Jared Shaw everyday so you don’t have to think that Gary Shaw is gone. I don’t know why they would keep one Shaw and not another. We’re both here and Gary is still a major force. He’s still spoken to everyday…He’s a major part of this company and everything he’s done as a promoter we’ll continue to utilize and continue to follow his lead.
No, everything is status quo. Like I said, he’s still going to be someone behind closed doors that we speak to. He just might not be out in the public eye as much because he has other endeavors he’s focused on. Not that he’s not part of EliteXC or that he’s not helping us with venues or scalings or with promotional ideas…everything that Gary has done with this company he’ll continue to do.
This still sounds kind of fishy. There has never been a more critical time in EliteXC’s history. Now doesn’t seem to be the time for Shaw to be focusing his attention elsewhere.