01/09/2013 12:07 pm ET

'The Walking Dead': Why Glen Mazzara Left

"The Walking Dead" is saying goodbye to Glen Mazzara after Season 3. He's the second showrunner the series has had in three seasons and although his departure was announced as amicable, The Hollywood Reporter claims that's not the case.

According to THR, Mazzara was forced out by "The Walking Dead" comic creator Robert Kirkman. "I believe Robert wants to maintain a certain amount of his control, and AMC needs Robert for the fan base," a source told THR. The report also states other producers clashed with Mazzara and his "shortcomings in running the series."

When Mazzara's exit was announced, the producer and AMC said it was a mutual thing.

"My time as showrunner on 'The Walking Dead' has been an amazing experience, but after I finish Season 3, it’s time to move on," Mazzara said in a statement. "I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey."

Later in December 2012, Kirkman said he supported Mazzara's exit, saying the decision is "in the best interest of the future of the show."

"I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to 'The Walking Dead' and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on Season 3," Kirkman said.

However, after learning of Mazzara's exit, many Hollywood players such as Kurt Sutter and Shawn Ryan, both of whom have worked with Mazzara before, took to social media to blast the decision.

The last half of "The Walking Dead" Season 3 premieres on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.

The Walking Dead