One of the fun things about the release of Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is the fact that it’s brought up things like this, from Tony Isabella:
Sol and John asked me what I would do if I were Marvel’s editor-in-chief. Which stunned me. I thought of myself as “the new kid” and didn’t think I was qualified for the job. Maybe I could handle the creative end of things okay, but I was way out of my league when it came to the business and production aspects of the job.
I told them I didn’t think the editor-in-chief should be competing with the other writers. I would want to do some writing – it was,
after all, my first love – but I thought the top titles had to be earned and not seized by virtue of rank. Stan and Roy had surely
earned the right to write whatever they wanted. Their successors, not so much.
Howe’s book explains the weird 1970s period where Marvel apparently couldn’t keep an Editor-in-Chief for any appreciable length of time, and this fits right in the middle of that time… and demonstrates, perhaps, how uncertain and directionless the company appeared to be at the time.