Source: Jazwares/The Toy Book

Jazwares is reconfiguring its executive ranks in a new round of promotions.

Laura Zebersky, a 15-year toy industry vet steps into the role of president following a successful run as chief commercial officer, in which she was responsible for overseeing the company’s global licensing, marketing, and sales initiatives. Zebersky was a 2017 recipient of the Women in Toys Wonder Women Award in the manufacturing category.

“Laura is the most amazing business and life partner anyone could ask for,” says Judd Zebersky, CEO, Jazwares. “Her understanding of the toy industry and business savvy is unmatched. Partnering with Laura, now as president, the future success and possibilities for Jazwares are boundless.”

Related: State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Jazwares

Additionally, Jazwares kicked off the new year by promoting several other executives.

  • Kelly Deen has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing. Formerly of Cartoon Network, Deen is credited for transforming the marketing and campaign strategy within the company.
  • Gerhard Runken has been promoted to senior vice president of brand for Jazwares’ boy brands and Kellytoy brands, including Squishmallows, Micro Machines, and Pokémon, among others. Runken previously served as vice president of marketing and brand at Wicked Cool Toys prior to its acquisition in October 2019.
  • Jonny Taylor has been promoted to senior vice president, Europe. He established Jazwares’ UK office in 2012 and has managed the German office since last February.

Jazwares has grown in recent years, largely through strategic acquisitions. The company recently debuted a refreshed identity for its First Act brand.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.