After a troubled year that saw the market value of MoviePass’s parent collapse and the company delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange, the company’s chief financial officer is stepping down.
Stuart Benson, who tendered his resignation on March 13, will depart Helios and Matheson Analytics on March 22, according to a company filing. He’s taking a job elsewhere. Helios said it plans to mount a search for his replacement “as soon as practicable.” No job listing has yet been posted, but here are some of the qualifications we imagine candidates for this exciting opportunity will need:
- Experience managing finances for penny stocks
- Familiarity with over-the-counter markets
- Experience leading acquisitions and spinoffs
- Understanding of accounting for subscription-based companies
- Familiarity with film financing
- Working knowledge of exhibitor economics
- Proven track record fending off shareholder lawsuits
- Transnational background
- A love of film
There will be many thrilling tasks for Benson’s replacement to dive into. His departure comes after Helios essentially admitted it didn’t know how many subscribers its subsidiary MoviePass had. Helios reported on March 12 that it would have to restate its financials for the period ending Sept. 30—its last reported quarter—because it erroneously included revenue from MoviePass subscriptions that were canceled and refunded by retailer Costco, as well as subscriptions that had been suspended because of changes to the service that customers had not yet opted into. It also didn’t properly account for derivative securities. Overall, Helios estimated that losses for the period were $8.9 million more than previously reported, and that that number needed to be reviewed further. It also said it did not have a good handle on financial reporting, particularly as it relates to its subscription business, for the period ending Dec. 31, for which it has yet to file a quarterly report. Who wouldn’t want this job?
Benson took the top finance job at Helios in November 2016, before the New York-based tech consultancy acquired a majority stake in MoviePass and got into the challenging movie-ticket subscription business. Prior to MoviePass, Helios’ primary business was a company founded by CEO Ted Farnsworth called Zone Technologies, which created an app for mapping crime in local areas. Benson led the finance team for A&E Network’s international division before coming to Helios. He exits alongside MoviePass’ executive vice president, who is leaving the subscription service mere months into his current role. They may not be the only executives to depart Helios or MoviePass as the companies mount a turnaround.