FREE Report: Licensing in the Metaverse
Don’t miss out on the hottest trend in licensing today—making real money in the virtual world. Read this report to learn how you can capitalize on this trend today!

Upgrade to Premium Membership NOW for Just $147!
Get 3 Months of Full Premium Membership Access
Includes Our Monthly Newsletter, Licensing News, Deals, and Contacts

Who’s News—7/9/2018

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

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

Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are appointed the new Chief Creative Officers of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, respectively. The Frozen and Inside Out filmmakers report directly to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Jim Morris and Andrew Millstein—the respective Presidents of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios—will continue to report to Disney and Pixar President Ed Catmull, who reports to Horn.

Seperately, Walt Disney Intl.’s SVP Media Distribution Mark Endemaño steps down after 14 years at the House of Mouse.

Karen K. Miller joins NBCUniversal’s U.S.-based Universal Kids as SVP Content. Plus, Marketing executive Ellen Stone has a newly expanded purview that includes Universal Kids.

GameStop names Dawn Henry as its new VP of pop culture merchandise division, ThinkGeek, reporting to SVP Janet Bareis. The retailer recently added Kris Ventura as VP Collectables Merchandising.

9 Story Media Group taps Angela C. Santomero to serve as CCO following the prodco’s acquisition of Out of the Blue Enterprises, since rebranded as 9 Story USA. Santomero co-founded Out of the Blue Enterprises and has worked as a creator, executive producer, and writer on several preschool titles including Blue’s Clues, Super Why!, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Posh Paws Intl. welcomes Sally Fielding as its new Sales Director.

Jennifer Twiner McCarron is promoted to CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment. She will also stay on as CEO of Atom Cartoons, a Thunderbird subsidiary.

Cartoonist and educator Gene Luen Yang joins the Board of Directors for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Walmart names U.S. CMO Tony Rogers to the newly created post of Chief Member Officer at Sam’s Club, effective in late July.

Seperately, the retailer appoints former American Express executive Janey Whiteside to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer. She joins the retailer Aug. 1 and will be responsible for both B&M stores and e-commerce.

Card and board game manufacturer Cartamundi names Stefaan Merckx as its new CEO. He succeeds Chris Van Doorslaer, who passed away in December 2017.

MGM acquires Big Fish Entertainment, expanding Mark Burnett’s television division. The company will continue to operate as Big Fish Entertainment, with Founder & President Dan Cesareo to remain President, reporting to Barry Poznick, President Unscripted Television at MGM.

Former Hasbro, Ocean Spray, TJ Maxx, and NPD Group executive Donna Tobin launches a new marketing and consulting studio to aid the development of new products called SKY-D8. Tobin is currently in the process of discussing a new gender-neutral IP targeting multiple consumer groups with licensing partners, publishers, and entertainment studios.

TOMY restructures its European business, bringing it in under the TOMY Intl. arm, the subsidiary responsible for North America, Latin America, (and now) Europe. TOMY Intl. President Pete Henseler and CEO Greg Kilrea will take on the new international assignment. Mary Wood continues to lead the U.K. business.

Coty Inc. restructures its Consumer Beauty leadership team under the division’s President, Laurent Kleitman:

  • Mike Bryce, Global CMO Color Cosmetics, oversees the international color cosmetics portfolio including Rimmel, Bourjois, and Miss Sporty.
  • Mark Cooper is now Global CMO for retail hair, body care, and lifestyle scenting. He leads marketing for brands including Clairol, Wella, Adidas, David Beckham, Katy Perry, and Nautica.
  • Ukonwa Ojo is now Global CMO Cover Girl, Sally Hansen & Consumer Beauty U.S. She oversees U.S. marketing of brands including Rimmel, Clairol, and mass fragrances.
  • Sean Foster is appointed SVP Digital & E-commerce for Consumer Beauty and global e-commerce.
  • Jing Mertoglu is promoted to SVP Consumer Marketing & Insights for global consumer beauty.

Valiant Entertainment hires Matthew Klein as its Director Sales.

UTA launches a standalone esports division that will be led by Press X and Everyday Influencers co-founder Damon Lau. Lau reports to Ophir Lupu, Head UTA Games, and Sam Wick, Head UTA Ventures.

The Neiman Marcus Group appoints Darcy Penick as President of Bergdorf Goodman starting Sept. 4 and reporting to Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO. Penick will manage the Bergdorf Goodman brand, including its online enterprise and two Manhattan-based flagship locations.

Tervis promotes Hosana Fieber to CFO.

The Toy Association forms a new Creative Factor Advisory Board made up of innovators and experts across a range of creative fields: Brett Klisch (Creative Factor), Robin Raskin (Living in Digital Times), Warren Tuttle (United Inventors Association Board of Directors), Billy Langsworthy (Mojo Nation), and Matt Nuccio (Design Edge). The advisory board is tasked with growing The Toy Association’s educational programming, events, and resources for toy inventors, designers, and entrepreneurs.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s new Chief Merchandising Officer is Todd Johnson, succeeding Art Stark, who left the company last month.

Barnes & Noble fires yet another CEO, Demos Parneros, for “violations of the Company’s policies” without pay. While the bookseller searches for a new CEO, the temporary leadership team consists of: Allen Lindstrom, CFO; Tim Mantel, Chief Merchandising Officer; and Carl Hauch, VP Stores.

G2 Esports names Peter Mucha to the company’s senior executive team as the COO.

Bagpuss creator Peter Firmin dies aged 89.


You have 3 articles left to view this month.

Your 3 Free Articles Per Month Goes Very Quickly!
Get a 3 month Premium Membership to
The Licensing Letter for just $147!

Sign up now and get unlimited access to all articles, archives, and tools for The Licensing Letter!









Try Premium Membership