TREASURE COAST, Fla. - John Textor, former CEO of Digital Domain, is not directing blame at himself for the fast fall of the company.
"The problem becomes trying to deliver on your promises to the community that's not always consistent with what the short term whims of an investor market might want," said Textor. "So I would say one of the most difficult things that we realized was trying to balance community goals with Wall Street goals. "
Textor took a $20 million loan from state taxpayers to build Digital Domain's Traditions Studio in Port Saint Lucie. It took less than three years for all of it to come apart. Textor's take on his own stewardship is sure to grate on out-of-work employees and community leaders left flatfooted.
"More than anything in reflection over the last few months, we, at the company, did a very good job of focusing on our promises to the taxpayers," he said.
With hundreds of jobs lost from an economic engine that sputtered and died, the city of Port Saint Lucie was left on the hook for millions of dollars in money it invested. But Textor focuses on an alternate ending to a big failure.
"80% of our employees in our Port St. Lucie studio either had direct ties to Florida, or were from the local community, and so we did that very well," said Textor.
He focused on two former Digital Domain workers, Chuck Williams and Jonathan Stone, who will teach at the future Florida State University campus located in West Palm Beach.
"That's one of the nicer things to come out of this mess over the last several months, is that the artists that we brought to town have chosen to make lives here," he said.