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VIZ Media Hires Former Netflix Licensing Chief Laurie Takaragawa

VIZ Media announced it’s made a major addition to its licensing team, hiring Laura Takaragawa, the Head of Consumer Licensing at Netflix, as its new VP of Consumer Products Licensing & Promotions.

Viz says the newly created position will allow for the integration of all of VIZ Media’s licensed merchandise, collaborations, interactive and digital games, LBE, and promotions across all its licensed properties worldwide. Takaragawa will be responsible for all licensing and consumer product activities and, alongside senior leadership, will shape the company’s long-term growth plan, further developing its consumer products brand portfolio and expanding the company’s retail profile.

“The new role will help us in driving continued growth across our licensing and consumer product business and will provide opportunities to further deepen our relationships with consumers and our partners alike,” said Brad Woods, the Chief Marketing Officer at VIZ Media. “We could not be happier to have Laura joining our team. Her vast experience in cross-platform licensing and brand storytelling, combined with her content knowledge and passion, make her the ideal leader for this role.”

Laura brings an enormous wealth of experience to the role having operated in key licensing leadership roles at Sanrio, National Geographic, and most recently as Head of Global Licensing at Netflix.

The new role will report directly to Brian Ige, Senior Vice President Animation, VIZ Media, and is effective immediately.

VIZ Media works in the area of manga and anime brands, and has become a major force in the world and culture of manga. The company estimates it reaches one in four millennials globally, and half of all Gen Z manga readers. The company works not just in publishing, but in animation, film, and gaming.

VIZ Media is home to some of the most prestigious franchises available for licensed consumer products including Naruto, Bleach, and Inuyasha, plus emerging brands like Doraemon and Hunter X Hunter. While not that well known in North America, Doraemon was recently named as one of the Top 10 entertainment brands in Asia, while Naruto, Bleach and Inuyasha are well known brands on both sides of the Pacific.

 

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