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David Sprei Hired To Head Penguin Ventures

Penguin Random House Children’s Appoints New Commercial Director for Penguin Ventures to Drive Opportunities for Growth and Innovation

Children’s literature giant Penguin Random House Children’s has tagged a high ranking ViacomCBS executive as the new head of Penguin Ventures.

The company says David Sprei will be joining Penguin Random House Children’s as Commercial Director for Penguin Ventures, reporting to Managing Director Francesca Dow.

Dow says the newly-created role will see Spree leading the Penguin Ventures business to further growth, working in close partnership with Susan Bolsover, the Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, and the Penguin Ventures team. Susan Bolsover will report to Sprei as part of the new arrangement.

“Penguin Ventures is a successful, multi-award winning and profitable global business, respected by our partners and licensees around the world,” said Dow. “To date, Susan has brilliantly led and managed our strong licensing business and excellent team. Now that Ventures wholly manages the licensing for Classic Peter Rabbit in-house, we are excited about exploring new and uncharted opportunities. We believe we are at an early stage in Penguin Ventures’ potential and in his role David will help take us to the next stage of growth and commercial success.”

Spree joins Penguin from his previous role as Director of International Business Development at ViacomCBS Consumer Products, focusing on innovative and non-traditional partnerships across the portfolio. Prior to that posting Spree held commercial and partnership roles at Viacom Velocity (MTV Europe), Instrumental and TBWA\ Stream, London.

Former ViacomCBS exec David Sprei has been tapped to lead Penguin Ventures, a division of Penguin Random House Children’s.

“I’m impressed by David’s entrepreneurial mindset and look forward to working with him, together with Susan and our Ventures team, as we explore new UK and global opportunities for growth and innovation, explore new IP development and investment and ensure the long-term health and success of our incredible brands,” said Dow. “Internally, David will in this new role act as a central commercial unifier for our owned brands, working in close partnership with our Brand and Publishing teams.”

Penguin Ventures is a separate business within Penguin Random House Children’s, that manages and exploits a portfolio of literary brands and characters, most notably Peter Rabbit, The Snowman and Spot, focusing on licensing and consumer products, retail activations, theatrical, exhibitions and commercial partnership strategies to tell the world’s favorite stories.

In the UK, Penguin Ventures most recent successes include a multi-year partnership with Cadburys as well as a global collection with Cath Kidston, both for Classic Peter Rabbit.

The team also created a fashion and digital collaboration with Barbour for The Snowman expanding upon Raymond Briggs’ timeless story through an innovative ad campaign and were responsible for the UK, Australian and Japanese licensing programme for global box office smash hit movies Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

“I am truly excited to work with the world class Penguin Random House Children’s portfolio to drive commercial growth across new and existing markets and lines of business,” said Sprei. “Working with Susan and the Ventures team we will continue to build on the success, exploring new ways to tell the story and continue to connect and engage our fans from yesterday, today and for tomorrow, helping to future proof our audiences for years to come.”

Sprei officially joins Penguin Random House Children’s on Oct. 18.

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