According the ProElite’s latest SEC filing, both EliteXC President Gary Shaw, and ProElite Executive Chairman Doug DeLuca have resigned from their positions with ProElite, Inc. Shaw and DeLuca will now serve as “consultants.”
On July 23, 2008, the Board of Directors of the Company accepted the resignations of the following four directors: Gary Shaw, Kurt Brendlinger, David Marshall and Douglas DeLuca, each of whom tendered his resignation on such date except for Mr. Shaw, whose resignation was received by the Company on July 22, 2008 but accepted on July 23, 2008. Mr. DeLuca and Mr. Shaw also resigned their respective management positions as Chief Strategy Officer of the Company and President of the Company’s EliteXC division. All resignations were effective as of July 23, 2008.
Prior to the resignations noted above in item 5.02(b), the following individuals were elected by the Board to serve as directors, effective as of July 23, 2008, filling previously existing vacancies on the Board: Edward C. Hannah, Edward Corey and Robert E. Brierley. In addition, Mr. Charles F. Champion, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a director, was elected Chairman of the Board.
We’ve known about Gary Shaw for quite some time now, as his “consulting” role has been addressed by Doug DeLuca—which is pretty ironic—as Shaw taking a step back to focus on his health, family, and boxing promotion. DeLuca, on the other hand, comes as more of a surprise.
It’s been speculated that these moves were influenced by CBS as they’ve taken more control over the company. One also has to wonder if the highly criticized production from the first CBS show had anything to do with Shaw’s “resignation.” The second CBS event’s production was much improved, but without having Shaw as the front man to capture the media’s attention, the show severely lacked of any kind of buzz leading up to it.
Many hardcore fans are rejoicing over this news, but I don’t necessarily think this is good for EliteXC. Sure, Shaw was often over-the-top and spouted off some pretty ludicrous things, but that was his job. His job was to create hype for the events, and he was pretty good at it. I often criticize many of the things promoters, like Dana White and Gary Shaw, have said in the past, and will continue to do so, but at the end of the day, they are a necessary evil in the fight game. If ProElite (CBS) isn’t able to replace him with someone that can get people talking, it’s going to hurt them.