Funrise Appoints King Cheng as CEO, Arnold Rubin to Become Chairman

Funrise Inc LogoAfter more than 27 years with the company, Arnold E. Rubin is stepping down as CEO of Funrise Inc. Rubin will become chairman, and will continue to serve on the board of Matrix Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Funrise. [Read more...]

Mattel Brings Back Former CEO as Consultant

logo_Mattel logoBryan Stockton, who abruptly resigned as Mattel Inc.’s CEO in January, is back at the toy maker as a consultant, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mattel will pay Stockton $125,000 a month for the next year. On an annual basis, he would earn $1.5 million.

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Isaac Heller, Co-Founder of Remco, Passes Away

IsaacHellerIsaac Heller, the founder of Remco, died on March 7 at the age of 88. As reported by The New York Times, Heller was a former Navy electronics technician who got his start as a toymaker by buying up military surplus and transforming it into toys that zoom, soar, or otherwise move.
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American Greetings Hires Karen Vermeulen, Revamps Internal Licensing, Entertainment Teams

ResizedAGPLogoAmerican Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, is revamping its licensing, entertainment, digital, and distribution teams, starting with the hire of former longtime Zodiak Kids executive Karen Vermeulen. Vermeulen joins AGP as its new head of global sales and co-productions, and will initially be based out of London.
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Stephen J. Pasierb Named President and CEO of TIA

StevePasierbHeadshotStephen J. Pasierb will join the Toy Industry Association (TIA) at the end of April as president and CEO. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the growth, development, and oversight of the TIA, and will succeed current president and CEO Carter Keithley, who will retire at the end of April.

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Christine Kelly to Head Toy and Game Initiatives for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing Division

ChristineKellyNational Geographic has named Christine Kelly as its director of licensing, toys, and games for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing division. In this new role, she has been tasked with National Geographic’s toy business—both licensing and strategic retail partnerships. She will oversee marketing, retail strategy and product development, including new franchises. [Read more...]

Kerry Cunnion Named New Head of North American Toys for Tomy International

Kerry Cunnion has been promoted to senior vice president, sales and North American toy, for Tomy International. In this new role, he will oversee design, product development, and product marketing in addition to continuing his role leading Tomy International’s North American sales force.

Cunnion joined the company in 2009 as vice president of sales for the Mother, Infant and Toddler business unit, and brings three decades of consumer product sales experience. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for the integrated sales organization.

Prior to Tomy, Cunnion held various sales and marketing positions with organizations including Publications International, Huffy Bicycle Company, and Crayola.

Dirk Engehausen Appointed New CEO of Schleich Group

SchleichlogoDirk Engehausen has been appointed CEO of the Schleich Group. Dr. Thomas van Kaldenkerken will relinquish his role as CEO, and together with Dr. Konrad Nilbers, will co-chair the advisory board for the Schleich Group.

Engehausen has been a member of the advisory board since mid-2014, and brings extensive experiences from his 20-year career with Lego, where he played a major role in the strategic repositioning of the company. Engehausen intends to implement and further develop the strategic and operative realignment of the company initiated by van Kaldenkerken.

The operations of Schleich USA Inc. will continue to be under the leadership and direction of Sören Hjorth, Schleich USA president, from Schleich’s facility in Charlotte, N.C.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner to Become Chairman

Hasbro logoHasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner will become chairman on May 21, the date of the toy maker’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Hasbro this past Thursday. Goldner has been Hasbro’s president and CEO since 2008.

Chairman Al Verrecchia will step down in accordance with the company’s target retirement age of 72. Four other Hasbro directors will also retire from the board because they are close to retirement age: Frank Biondi Jr., John Connors Jr., Michael Garrett, and Jack Greenberg.

Hasbro has stated that current director Basil Anderson will become its lead independent director. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results tomorrow.

The Ohio Art Company Announces New Leadership Team

Elena West

The Ohio Art Company has a new executive leadership team, with Elena West named as CEO and Martin Killgallon promoted to president. Current CEO Bill Killgallon and president Larry Killgallon will continue to be involved in various aspects of the business, including helping with the transition to the new executive leadership team, while also continuing to be active members of the board of directors. [Read more...]