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“Every day is a learning experience”: A conversation with the new IDW CEO Davidi Jonas

As IDW undergoes a "reset", we talk to the person who pressed the reset button: new IDW CEO Davidi Jonas

Davidi Jonas / IDW logo
Image credit: IDW Media Holdings

Even in an industry with a flair for theatrics, Davidi Jonas’s arrival as CEO of IDW Media Holdings (the parent company of IDW Publishing and IDW Entertinmant) could be called dramatic, and not for the reasons he may have intended. The announcement on April 27 that Jonas was replacing outgoing CEO Allan Grafman came amid a blitz of layoffs at the financially embattled company, with some 39% of the staff removed over the course of a single day, and the company’s stock de-listed from publicly-traded exchanges. It was an inauspicious debut for a figure that few comic readers had heard of prior to his new role.

Jonas came to IDW by way of IDT Corporation, a company founded by his father Howard Jonas which purchased a majority stake in IDW in 2007 prior to spinning it back off into an independent company. The younger Jonas’s pre-IDW business history was clouded by some amount of scandal, as he had only recently settled a $12.5 million lawsuit filed by shareholders around business dealings involving IDT and another Jonas-owned company, Straight Path Communications.

If none of this suggested a particularly comprehensive training for a comics publisher and burgeoning media producer, Jonas would be the first to say so – and, indeed, frequently has been in the days following his newfound assumption of leadership at IDW. In the weeks following the company’s layoffs, Jonas has presented an outgoing and communicative face to those warily curious about the direction and future of the company, expressing an optimistic vision of what he believes will be a more streamlined and better-positioned player in the comic market and beyond.

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