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Who’s News: July 2019

Are you hiring—or being promoted, changing jobs, retiring, launching a new company, or otherwise changing your employment?

Contact the Editor at to announce the news in our next issue of Who’s News.

Direct contact information is made available through TLL’s Licensing Sourcebook Online.

Viacom Intl. Media Networks Americas appoints Christian Cabero as SVP Consumer Products & Location Based Experiences.

PVH Corp. elevates Cheryl Abel-Hodges as the new CEO of Calvin Klein.

Al Kahn and Toper Taylor launch Kidtagious Entertainment, a kid-focused entertainment and licensing company that plans to discover, curate, imagine, and deploy kid- and family-friendly IP from around the world. Kahn and Jillian Crane spent the last 4 years locking up IP under Kahn’s previous company, CraneKahn, whose assets will be folded into Kidtagious.

Kerry Tucker is the first-ever CMO of, charged with care of the brand itself as well as its full-fledged content and product brands.

Corie Barry officially takes over as the CEO of Best Buy, succeeding Hubert Joly.

WildBrain appoints Elia Bouthors to the position of Strategy & Innovation Director, reporting to Managing Director Jon Gisby.

Alpha Animation & Toys UK adds Anne-Marie Noon as Marketing Manager.

The World Surf League hires Pri Shumate as CMO, Cherie Cohen as Chief Revenue Officer, and Sarah Swanson as SVP Strategic Insights & Consumer Growth. They report to CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

Scotch & Soda names Frederick Lukoff as its CEO; he replaces Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg, who steps down to serve as Chairman of the fashion retailer.

Dave Perry joins Amazon as Global Head Social Media for Prime Video. He reports to Andy Donkin, global head of marketing for Amazon Prime Video and originals.

Garfield creator Jim Davis donated PAWS Inc.’s Indiana headquarters to the Ball State University Foundation, which will receive the proceeds from an online auction later this month. Twenty-five employees who occupied the space are now working from home after moving out of the 35,000 sq. ft. main facility, a freestanding studio building, warehouse and maintenance buildings, and a commercial greenhouse.

Netflix crowns Matthew Aldrich to oversee the streamer’s expansive adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia over series and film. All series and films produced via the Netflix deal will see Mark Gordon of eOne, as well as Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber, act as executive producers for the series and producers for the feature films.

Keith Clayton, VP & Deputy Publisher of Del Rey, is named VP & Director Licensing for the Random House Group in addition to his current position.

Gaumont taps Courtney Arumugam to be its first VP Creative Development, Animation & Family in the U.K.

Kate Morton is the new Director Content Strategy at eOne’s family and brands division. The newly created role has Morton responsible for devising, communicating, and coordinating programming tactics for linear and non-linear content rollout as part of the company’s global content distribution strategy.

Licensing International elects seven new members to its Board of Directors:

Additionally, Cindy Levitt, SVP Licensing at Mad Engine, continues as chairperson of the board, while Jay Asher, Partner at Brandgenuity, was re-elected as vice chairman for the second year of a two-year term. JJ Ahearn, MD of Licensing Street, was re-elected as board designate to the executive committee, for a one-year term, and Celso Rafael, Managing Partner at Lotus Global was voted treasurer, also for a one-year term. Continuing board members include:

Venturesome and MGM Resorts Intl. will debut exclusive Studio 54 brand collaborations. Launched by Elliott Azrak to create strategic acquisition, investment and licensing opportunities at the intersection of retail, media and pop culture, Venturesome will be working with additional strategic partners including Global Brands Group and Centric Brands.

Carson Dellosa Education acquires Elliot Newman‘s Kids Station Toys, a musical instruments and interactive musical toys manufacturer. As part of the deal, Carson Dellosa will assume the Fisher-Price license for youth electronics.


Michael Cerda joins the House of Mouse’s upcoming streaming service Disney+ as its new VP Product. He will split his time between San Francisco and New York and work to strengthen the global consumer experience for the platform across mobile and connected TV devices.

Mattel appoints Jamie Cygielman as its new SVP & GM American Girl.

PVH Corp. re-ups Chairman & CEO Manny Chirico under a new five-year employment agreement and hires Stefan Larsson as PVH President, a newly created role. Larsson will manage PVH’s branded businesses and regions, with each of the three brand CEOs and the Regional Presidents reporting to him. Larsson reports to Chirico.

Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings appoints Scott Walker as SVP Merchandising.

Guru Studio promotes Jonathan Abraham to VP Sales & Business Development and hires Corey Caplan to support him as Director Intl. Sales.

CPLG Germany acquires Team! Licensing to create agency powerhouse. Joachim Knoedler, Managing Director, CPLG Central Europe, oversees CPLG’s Germany operations. Joint founders of Team! Licensing Katarina Dietrich and Gerold Kolenbrander will continue as Senior Advisors to the business.

CPLG expands its MENA team with the addition of new Licensing Manager, Roberto Pallottini, based in Dubai. He reports to Neesha Law, Commercial Director of CPLG MENA.

Digital cooking network Chefclub appoints Marie-Laure Marchand to the role of SVP Global Consumer Products & Business Development.

Sally Shankland is now President & CEO of Emerald Expositions Events. Phil Evans, Emerald’s interim President & CEO, will continue to serve as the company’s CFO.

Disney Publishing Worldwide promotes Lynn Waggoner and Emily Thomas Meehan following the departure of Mary Ann Naples. While Waggoner will keep her title as VP & Global Publisher Franchise, her remit is expanded to oversee Disney Press, Marvel Press, Lucasfilm Press, and Disney Editions in addition to leading global franchise content development for the business. Meehan is named VP & Publisher Hyperion, Original Content Strategy & IP Development.

Lauren Dolgen joins Paramount Network as SVP Unscripted Development & Production, starting June 3rd.

As WarnerMedia gears up to launch its own streaming service, it hires Jennifer O’Connell as EVP Original Non-Fiction & Kids and Suzanna Makkos as EVP Original Comedy & Animation. Both report to Sarah Aubrey, Head Original Content for WarnerMedia.

Warner Bros. announces a joint partnership with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore fan site and digital publishing platform. The new Wizarding World Digital team is to be established under an incoming managing director and will oversee the Pottermore platform and sister site No job cuts are expected. The news at least explains Warner’s bizarre trademark application for “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” (which was denied) — fans (used to) have to swear this in order to enter the Pottermore site.

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s and Meg Whitman’s new mobile short-form video platform Quibi (“quick bite”) is looking for another billion dollars on top of the billion it had already raised last year in its initial round of financing, per The Information. The $2 billion service is expected to launch next year with both ad-based and subscription tiers and compete with upcoming offerings from Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal as well as current services from Apple, Netflix, and Hulu (now fully controlled by Disney).

Learfield IMG College restores the iconic CLC brand name for the combined organization of IMG College Licensing and Learfield Licensing Partners. Cory Moss will lead CLC as SVP & Managing Director and leverage Learfield IMG College’s suite of businesses to help elevate college brands with new strategies, technology, product innovation and marketing opportunities.

After 31 years representing Character Options to retailers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Philip Richardson will retire at the end of August 2019. Banaghan & Co has been appointed to represent the company and its products to the independent trade retailers for the Republic and Northern Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man.

Grumpy Cat has passed away at the age of 7.


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