Jakks Pacific Inc. today announced a strategic reorganization that highlights the company’s growth initiatives.

“We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value,” said Stephen Berman, chairman and chief executive officer at Jakks Pacific. “Jakks has been a top tier global toy manufacturer for over 20 years. We have exemplary design, marketing, operation, and sales teams and we have strong relationships with best-in-class licensors, retailers, and industry thought leaders. As the retail landscape and consumer behaviors continue to change, we are committed to evolve into one of the savviest, most nimble organizations in the Kids & Family consumer products and entertainment space.”

Dan Cooney Jr., Jakks Pacific’s senior vice president of sales for Toys “R” Us and Amazon for the past 10 years, will assume additional responsibility for all of Jakks Pacific’s consumer products internationally as executive vice president of the international division. “Dan is proven leader who has played a critical role in optimizing the digital merchandising experience and modernized the forecasting process resulting in double digit natural growth in the U.S.,” Berman says. “As a second generation marketing and sales executive with over 20 years of toy industry experience, Dan’s expertise will be crucial in bringing our brands and products to new audiences worldwide and continuing to grow our international footprint.”

Tara Hefter, who has served as Jakks Pacific’s senior vice president of global licensing since 2010, was named executive vice president and general manager of Disguise Inc., Jakks Pacific’s Halloween costume division. Berman states, “As SVP, Global Licensing, Tara successfully directed the global licensing expansion of Jakks Pacific and Disguise Inc. Under her leadership, Tara has forged licensing, marketing, and retail partnerships with some of the biggest entertainment properties around the world. Tara comes to this new role with an impressive record of success at both consumer products and costumes, and she is the perfect leader to run this division.”

Virginia Reneau will rejoin Jakks Pacific as vice president of global licensing. Berman adds, “Virginia’s experience in new business development, portfolio management, business affairs, and contract negotiations is unparalleled.  She is a results oriented executive driven to produce superior results while maintaining allegiance to brand integrity. As we continue to grow our licensing portfolio, we are excited to welcome back talented individuals like Virginia.”

Carmine Russo president, international division and Joe Anton, president, Disguise Inc. will retire this year. Both Russo and Anton will work closely with Cooney and Hefter, respectfully, to assure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

About the author

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik

Maddie Michalik was the Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book from 2020-2022. She was also a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider.