National 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 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.
Dirk 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 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 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...]
Women in Toys (WIT) will honor Ann Kearns, vice president, global toys, Sesame Workshop, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the WIT 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Dinner on February 15. The organization will also present Eva Lorenz, general manager for Amazon Toys & Games, with Retailer of the Year. The event coincides with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. [Read more...]
Mattel Inc. has made key changes to its executive leadership team, effective immediately. Richard Dickson and Tim Kilpin will assume expanded responsibilities as president, chief brands officer, and president, chief commercial officer, respectively. Both will report to Mattel Chairman and CEO, Bryan G. Stockton. [Read more...]
Demdaco has appointed Frank Davis to vice president of sales. Davis comes to the company with a strong background in the gift industry, having recently served as vice president of sales at Carson Home Accents. Prior to that, he held positions with Midwest-CBK and Colonial Candle for 13 years, serving as vice president for one year and director of sales for seven years.
Demdaco products are sold primarily at specialty and independent retailers nationwide.
University Games has appointed Craig Hendrickson and Dickie Walsh to University Games Corporation’s executive team. Hendrickson joined the company on October 13 as its first senior vice president of marketing and product development, and will oversee University Games’ product development and marketing strategy and overall marketing program. He joins following 13 years at LeapFrog, where he held a similar title.
Walsh joins University Games as its first chief operating officer and will work closely with co-founder Cris Lehman in overseeing the company’s finances and operations.
Raiffe intends to use his position on The Strong’s board to share his passion for soft toys, and to spread awareness of the museum’s research and academics.