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Who’s News—4/23/2018

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.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross designates LMCA Founder & CEO Allan Feldman a member of the New York District Export Council. As an appointed member of the council, Feldman will aid in supporting the nation’s joint industry and government export expansion efforts.

After just 14 months at the helm, Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis is out. The technology executive, hired from Google, joined the toyco at a troubled time and led efforts to modernize at cut costs. Georgiadis will serve in an advisory role at Mattel until May 10, after which she will take over as CEO of genealogy website Board member Ynon Kreiz will take over as CEO effective April 26th and will become chairman of the board after his election at an annual shareholders’ meeting slated for May 17th. Kreiz formerly led Maker Studios and Endemol Group; he plans to make more use of iconic Mattel IP such as American Girl and Fisher-Price.

At Universal’s Games and Digital Platforms business, Joseph Kim is now SVP Publishing, Worldwide Games & Digital Platforms, Universal Brand Development. Kim reports to Chris Heatherly, EVP Worldwide Games & Digital Platforms; he will oversee slate and product management, marketing, user acquisition, and revenue optimization across all games and apps.

DHX Media co-founder, Steven DeNure, will be transitioning out of his role as President & COO. Josh Scherba is promoted to President; Anne Loi to the newly created role of CCO; and Aaron Ames to COO. Scherba will oversee DHX’s content business as well as its YouTube-based kids’ network, WildBrain. Loi will oversee key external partnerships, content production and financing, and business analytics.

Paramount Animation ups Ramsey Naito to EVP, reporting to President Mireille Soria, to lead production on the next SpongeBob SquarePants movie. Paramount has also hires Emily Nordwind as VP Production & Development, Katherine MacDonald as VP Production & Marketing, and Maya Kambe as a Creative Executive.

NASCAR promotes several leaders in marketing and media operations, including Jill Gregory to EVP & CMO, Pete Jung to VP Brand Marketing, and Brian Herbst to VP Global Media Strategy & Distribution.

Global stationery and lifestyle brand, Rifle Paper Co., appoints Trish Whalen to the newly created role of Brand President. She was most recently VP Business & Brand Development at Draper James, the retail brand founded by Reese Witherspoon, and had spent 10 years at Kate Spade.

The Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) appoints Liz Judson as Licensing Assistant. She will help the charity in its work with both its 60 existing and more potential licensees across an expanding list of categories.

Sesame Workshop promotes Michael H. Levine to the newly created position of Chief Knowledge Officer.

Lori Burke joins joining Clarkson Potter as Executive Director Licensing & Strategic Publishing Partnerships. Burke was formerly an executive director for license acquisitions and media at Penguin Young Readers.

HBC hires Bari Harlam as its new CMO. She succeeds Milton Pappas, who left the company.

FremantleMedia North America hires Kevin Blanchette as SVP Marketing & Communications.

Parentco Tapestry appoints former Ferragamo chief Eraldo Poletto as Stuart Weitzman’s new CEO & Brand President. Wendy Kahn, the label’s head, is exiting Tapestry after less than two years in the role.

Former DreamWorks Animation and American Girl executive Shawn Dennis joins GoldieBlox as President to oversee expanded revenue, entertainment, consumer product, and strategic partnerships. Dennis will work with CEO & Founder Debbie Sterling, and will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Turner’s Cartoon Network promotes Vishnu Athreya to SVP Programming.

Banijay Group’s Marcus Wolter will become CEO of the newly created Banijay Germany, effective August 2018. In his new role, Wolter will oversee all operations in Germany including Brainpool and Banijay Productions Germany. Formerly Endemol Shine’s Chairman Northern Europe & CEO Germany, Wolter will also become a shareholder of the group in Germany.

Kohl’s Chief Administrative Officer Richard Schepp will leave the company as of Sept. 29th.

David Campisi, who has been on temporary medical leave, retires from Big Lots as President & CEO. The company is seeking a permanent successor; in the meantime, CEO responsibilities are being handled by Lisa Bachmann, EVP/Chief Merchandising & Operating Officer, and Timothy Johnson, EVP/Chief Administrative & Financial Officer.

Gaming Arts names Jean Venneman its new CCO to lead sales, marketing, and product management.

Suzanne Nossel is promoted to CEO at PEN America following its merger with sister organization PEN Center USA.


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