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Who’s News—3/5/2018

Are you hiring—or being promoted, changing jobs, retiring, launching a new company, or otherwise changing your employment? Email Jen at and we’ll announce the news in our next issue of Who’s News.

Blizzard Entertainment appoints Daniel Siegel to the newly created position of Head Esports Licensing. Siegel will help drive extended investment in the entire Overwatch League esports ecosystem.

Mattel’s Juliana Chugg, previously Chief Brand Officer, will be transitioning into a new role at the toyco as a part of broader efforts to streamline its management team. She will report to CEO Margo Georgiadis in a new advisory capacity. Georgiadis and COO Richard Dickson will assume greater control over Mattel’s brand divisions.

Peter Micelli exists his longtime home at CAA in favor of eOne, where the TV literary agent is tapped to serve as Chief Strategy Officer for prodco’s film, TV, and digital projects. He reports directly to Chief Content Officer Mark Gordon and President Steve Berttram.

After eOne buys the company out, The Mark Gordon Co.’s Head Television Nick Pepper will exit the company for Legendary when his contract expires in May.

Oregon-based Hog Wild Toys has a new owner in the shape of Jeff Mumford, former VP Operations, who has purchased the company. Mumford will lead the toyco, founded in 1996, as President & CEO.

Roly Allen is named Licensing Director at Octopus’ Ilex imprint as the publisher intends to move further into adult brand licensing.

Wilhelm Taht, Head Games at Rovio, is leaving his position for personal reasons. CEO Kati Levoranta assumes his role temporarily.

Former Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci will take the helm of Burberry, replacing designer Christopher Bailey.

Bunim-Murray Productions reorganizes its creative leadership team under Julie Pizzi, who is named President Entertainment & Production. In other promotions, Sasha Alpert is now EVP Entertainment & Development, Farnaz Farjam Chazan is SVP Entertainment & Development, and Ben Salter is SVP Development. Russell Jay joins as VP Entertainment & Development. Jeff Jenkins leaves to pursue other opportunities.

International tour operator Collette hires Stephen Mills to serve as its new Head U.K. Partnerships.

Sanrio hires Margherita Vecchio as its new Intl. Licensing Manager; she is based in Milan and will work across selected EMEA territories and projects.

JCPenney overhauls its merchandising team, naming Joe McFarland as EVP & Chief Customer Officer; James Starke as Head Merchandising for men’s, children’s, home and jewelry; and Jodie Johnson as Head Merchandising for women’s, beauty and family footwear. The retailer has also eliminated roughly 130 positions at headquarters and restructured its group, regional, district, and store support teams.

The parentco of QVC, HSN, Cornerstone Brands, and zulily is rebranding as Qurate Retail Group, after being known as Liberty Interactive. Mike George, currently CEO of QVC, will become President & CEO of Qurate while Greg Maffei, who currently holds that position, will become Chairman.

Kelly Betz is promoted to CFO at DreamWorks Animation, a role in which Betz expands her financial oversight of the company’s television business to include feature films.

WWE names Brian Flinn as CMO & Chief Communications Officer, reporting to Co-President Michelle Wilson. Flynn oversees global consumer marketing, WWE Network marketing, creative services, special events, publicity, media relations and corporate communications.

Dana Landry leaves Halifax, Canada-based DHX Media; stepping down as CEO as well as from the board of directors. Executive chair Michael Donovan will once again take the reins as CEO. Elsewhere, CFO Keith Abriel exits the company after a short transition period and will be replaced by Doug Lamb, who joins DHX from Postmedia (where he served as EVP & CFO).

L’Oréal USA appoints Gretchen Saegh-Fleming as its CMO.

Saegh-Fleming replaces Marie Gulin-Merle, who is leaving L’Oréal USA to join Calvin Klein as CMO.

Congrats to the winners of the 2018 WIT Wonder Women Awards:

  • Wonder Woman Creator Inventor Award: Sydney Wiseman, WowWee
  • Wonder Woman in Licensing Award: Menal McGrath, Moose Toys
  • Wonder Woman in Manufacturing Award: Diana Young, Spin Master
  • Wonder Woman in Marketing Award: Julie Powell Christopher, eOne
  • Wonder Woman in Public Relations Award: Susan Murphy, Coyne PR
  • Wonder Woman Retailer Award: Cindy Levitt, Hot Topic
  • Wonder Woman Rising Stars: Ali Mierzejewski, The Toy Insider and Stephanie Mendoza, Sesame Workshop
  • Wonder Woman in Sales Award: Donna Moore, TTPM

Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment (WIT) also honored: Norma Rosenhain, CEO of Creata, with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Nancy Zwiers, EVP & Global CMO at Spin Master, with the Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award; and 12-year-old Ariana Gentry, the Toys ‘R’ Us President of Play, with the Wonder Girl Award.


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