Khalid Itum, the executive tasked with overseeing day-to-day operations at MoviePass, has left the struggling subscription service, Variety has confirmed. Insiders had previously said Itum had been largely absent in recent weeks and MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe had assumed more of a leadership role after previously stepping back.
According to a spokesperson for the company, “Itum will be leaving MoviePass to pursue his entrepreneurial and travel pursuits.” The spokesperson also added that Chief Technology Officer Joey Adarkway and human resources head Jake Peterson, are transitioning from full time employees to contracted consulting roles. There have been several rounds of layoffs at MoviePass in recent weeks, impacting its business development operations and MovieFone, the movie directory service it purchased in 2018. Dozens of staffers have been cut, according to one insider.
“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,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
MoviePass Films is a joint venture with Emmett/Furla Films. The company’s projects include the John Travolta flop “Gotti” and the upcoming action-thriller “10 Minutes Gone” starring Bruce Willis.
Itum was promoted to his role of executive VP in October, with the new job formally announced in December. At the time, MoviePass said Lowe was stepping back from management while Itum developed a strategic plan to make the company profitable.
MoviePass positioned itself as a Netflix-like disruptor and gained an avid following with its low-cost subscriptions. For less than $10 a month, customers could see nearly an unlimited number of films. But the company had to change its subscription plans several times as it ran low on money. Earlier this week, MoviePass had to restate its earnings to acknowledge that its losses in 2018 were deeper than it had initially reported.
Last month, Variety reported that Itum was charged in 2010 with stealing thousands of dollars from a previous employer, the furniture company Workspaces LLC. Itum acknowledged charging personal expenses on a company debit card and pleaded guilty to second degree theft. In an email at the time, Itum called the charges “bogus and ill-intentioned.”
Business Insider first reported Itum’s departure.