There is sad news today from the extremely real world of extremely real international ready-mix concrete companies who transition to operating extremely real digital metaverses: Sir Lucas Capetian, the brains and architect of Color Star Technology’s extraordinarily real Color World metaverse, has abruptly resigned his position, both as a member of Color Star’s board of directors and as chief executive officer, per a succinct company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing says Capetian’s departure is due to “personal reasons” and did not result “from any disagreement with the Company.”
Capetian, whose vast ambitions, sketchy credentials, and hilariously incomplete online footprint made him a figure of fascination for anyone tracking the Color Star story, will reportedly be replaced in his role as CEO by not one but two internal candidates. It’s been an eventful seven-plus months, but this quick turnover tracks reasonably well with the very little of Color Star’s corporate history that is verifiable online. Capetian took over as CEO of Color Star in late 2021, replacing a man named Basil Wilson, who had then been on the job for just six months. Douglas Menelly, who at the time was in place as Color Star’s Director of Communications, explained this to Defector as a straightforward matter of company direction: As the company shifted into building a digital metaverse, Wilson’s skillset—described by Menelly as live event logistics, including the “different LED screens” and “different lasers” needed to “support someone like Lady Gaga”—were suddenly of little or no value, whereas Capetian’s background in coding would be vital. Wilson, too, had taken over for a predecessor whose skills were of diminishing value: Biao Lu, the man Wilson replaced in June 2021, had been on the job for less than a year, and was described in company filings as an insider in China’s entertainment industry. Lu’s background and expansive rolodex were presumably most useful to Color Star back when they were angling primarily to offer a series of celebrity-taught online education courses, or approximately one zillion business models ago.
It could be that now that Color Star’s Color World metaverse is up and running—at least in the very most technical sense—Capetian’s skills as an app developer are no longer all that important. During his brief tenure, Sir Lucas made a handsome but awkward fit as the face of a company hoping to court western users via ambitious marketing pushes into European and North American sports leagues. At the time of the launch of Color Star’s ill-fated brand partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers, Capetian had no online presence beyond a tantalizingly incomplete LinkedIn profile featuring a header image of what appeared to be a video game character, and credentials that were either impossible (an executive MBA from Harvard Business School, which does not award executive MBAs) or seemed borrowed (two certificates from online courses offered through the World Health Organization, issued to someone named Xiaoyan Huang). This is before we get to the part where “Capetian” is also the name of an expired French dynasty.
Tracking Capetian down, in those confused hours after the announcement of the 76ers partnership, became a surreal trial. The 76ers, it turned out, seemed never all that sure of who, exactly, they’d met and shaken hands with, and could do nothing more than assure Defector that Color Star’s CEO “does exist” and might possibly be “based in Europe.” Menelly, who in the entire time that he worked for Color Star never physically met Capetian, had been told that Capetian worked out of Color Star’s in-house tech department, based in Dubai. Menelly himself found it “quite frustrating” that a shareholder of his “publicly traded company” might look up the CEO and be confronted with a video-game avatar and nothing even approaching the track record you’d expect of the head of a company doing Big Business with a Very Serious NBA franchise. Menelly promised to put Defector in touch with Capetian back in December 2021, but by Jan. 19 the communications professional had left the company altogether.
Soon after the calendar flipped over to 2022, Capetian updated his LinkedIn profile with actual photographic evidence of his existence, and as Color Star ramped up press for its signature Color World app Capetian began to emerge from the Dubai tech cave, appearing in a photo shoot, in a deeply boring and since-deleted YouTube business profile interview, and eventually in a series of awkward photos with representatives of the Villarreal soccer team of Spain’s La Liga, following the formalization of a sponsorship deal. He even reached out to Defector in mid-January, albeit to threaten us with a lawsuit and to warn us that dialing the phone number listed on his company’s website “is harassment.” At last it seemed safe to finally state, with confidence, that there is a real corporeal being who answers to the name Lucas Capetian.
Meanwhile, Color Star continues to move and shake. Hard as it is for me to accept that I once again have their insanely broken website pulled up on my poor, suffering laptop, I must note for you today that Color Star has moved beyond the securing of a source for “human cloned organs” and made a flurry of announcements as winter gave way to spring. The company has a new branch in Singapore; the Xingao Family wealth-management business has opened “its own virtual headquarters” in the Color World metaverse; and the Color World app has added what Color Star extremely erroneously describes as “the first digital airport.” Would you like to see Color World‘s new “brand mall?” Here is the mall:
It was Capetian himself who boasted in a press release, just one week ago, that this mall would allow Color World users to “experience the immersive experience of entertainment and shopping without leaving home.” To me it is a tragedy that personal reasons must prevent Capetian from experiencing the immersive experience of securing the financial windfall from this latest innovation of the metaverse concept. We must now wish only the best of luck to Capetian on his next great journey, and to his two successors, one of whom is Biao Lu, the man who was replaced as CEO last year by Basil Wilson, who was himself replaced by Lucas Capetian.