Five years ago, the CEO of Meow Wolf Vince Kadlubek was only making $50 a day delivering food and living at his parent’s house. This is a surprising fact, if you know what a big deal Meow Wolf has been for the last few years. This admission about his life before Meow Wolf came in a blog written on the official Meow Wolf website on Friday, October 18, “A Candid Moment of Introspection.”
The original Meow Wolf co-founder was writing this introspective blog in order to explain why he is stepping away from his post as CEO. Kadlubek eloquently explained how the last five years of his life, and the subsequent explosion in popularity of Meow Wolf, has been a whirlwind of a ride that he needed to get off for a while. For 14 paragraphs, Kadlubek detailed how and why the decision was made, always making it sound positive and reassuring.
The role of CEO will be taken on by three people already deeply involved in the Meow Wolf leadership structure: Ali Rubinstein (Chief Creative Officer), Carl Christensen (Chief Financial Officer) and Jim Ward (Chief of Content). These three officers will not work alone — they will join the other co-founders, department heads and project leadership in bringing the two major projects Meow Wolf Denver and Vegas into fruition.
Denver’s Meow Wolf permanent installation has been undergoing massive construction this year with a projected opening date in 2021. But, Meow Wolf’s involvement in the Denver art and culture scene does not end or begin there. For years now, Meow Wolf has been offering sponsorship money to a variety of art events, exhibitions and studio spaces in Denver. Earlier this summer, artists from Denver teamed up with some of the Meow Wolf Santa Fe-based artists to create a dark-amusement ride in Elitch Gardens called Kaleidoscape. And next month, Meow Wolf is throwing a three-day dance party and immersive art experience called Dark Palace at the National Western Complex.
As for Kadlubek? He insists that he will continue serving on the Board of Directors and as an executive advisor to the leadership team. His hopes are to step down from the position in order to sharpen his toolset and eventually prepare better for a future role as the company’s CEO.
Kadlubek wrote, “My personal learning curve has oftentimes been steep, operating with unsophisticated leadership tools and learning concepts on the fly. I am proud of the work that I have performed and proud of the leadership I have provided, yet for the first time in my professional career I feel like I have reached a ceiling. The toolset I used to get the company to this point is no longer the toolset needed for further growth or solid execution. I recognize that I can become an even stronger asset for the company by choosing to learn more sophisticated techniques in hopeful preparation for returning as CEO in the future.”
He ended the introspective statements with a healthy dose of gratitude for all the other people who have made Meow Wolf into what it is, including fans and supporters. And although it might feel to some like when their favorite band loses its lead singer, Kadlubek’s temporary hiatus from the CEO position is probably for the best, to allow him the freedom to be the artist who co-founded Meow Wolf in the first place.
To read the entire blog, written by Kadlubek himself, go here.