After months of rumors about a struggle at the top, Marvel Enterprises has hired a new publisher, Dan Buckley. Bill Jemas, president and publisher of consumer products since 2000 and chief operating officer since 2002, is no longer overseeing the publishing group. Jemas will remain with the company as chief marketing officer, but the COO spot will remain open for now. Buckley will report to Gui Karyo, Marvel's executive v-p of operations and CIO, who will now assume operational and fiscal management of the publishing business.

Jemas joined Marvel in 2000 and led the publishing group to improved sales and an increased emphasis on the book business, but his confrontational style often drew criticism. Under his leadership, Marvel hired editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, who revitalized Marvel's regular line of comics periodicals. Marvel's previously moribund book line was also given a huge boost under Jemas, with output going from 50 books in 2000 to more than 200 books in 2003. Sales in the publishing group for the first six months of 2003 were $34.7 million, up from $32.5 million in the first half of 2002.

Buckley, who worked at Marvel and sister company Fleer for seven years, was most recently v-p, operations and communications, at the Radiate Group, a division of Omnicom that specializes in marketing and event planning. He will be responsible for Marvel's comic book and graphic novel operations.

The executive shuffle leaves in doubt the fate of the Epic line that Jemas launched earlier this year. Originally planned as a way to attract new talent to develop some of Marvel's little-used characters, the line quickly became bogged down with administrative problems and editorial concerns. Last week it was announced that the line is no longer accepting submissions.