Matthew Medney, CEO of Heavy Metal magazine, has stepped down, Variety can exclusively confirm. He is set to be replaced by Myth founder Marshall Lees. Jamie Penrose will stay on as chief operating officer.

The company, best known for its self-titled 1981 adult animated sci-fi film, which was produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, has in recent years looked to move back into film and television content and exploit its vast library of IP. Last year the company signed a significant deal with Range Media Partners.

In recent months there have been concerns regarding the company’s financial state. In December, Publishers Weekly reported Heavy Metal had “temporarily suspended payments to vendors” and was undergoing an internal restructure.

In a company-wide memo sent at the end of last year, seen by Variety, Medney wrote: “We all know cash is a concern right now, that is not something any of the executives have ever hidden from the group, but I promise you all, [we] are working tirelessly 8 days a week to cure this concern, and to set us all up for success.”

Variety has reached out to Heavy Metal for comment.

Read Medney’s full exit statement below:

Heavy Metal has been at the core of my existence for 3 years, it’s where I found a brand that I understood from the jump, something I could help shepherd back into the conversation of storytelling brands. I am so thankful for the experience, the time, and the trust in delivering such an iconic and important brand back from legacy status to active. That journey will stay with me forever.

But with that said, it is time for me to focus on creative endeavors such as my intellectual properties, narrative games that I’m helming and projects that I care about from a creative position and let Heavy Metal be guided by someone who soaks in the excitement from the business building that is needed from this plateau to bring it to the next. I will be stepping into my role as a partner in the business and cheering on and helping in important projects and relationships.

I am thrilled for this next chapter of my life where I will focus solely on creative endeavors while being confident that the operations of Heavy Metal are in trusted hands.

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