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Who’s News—7/23/2018

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.

TSBA Group is expanding its team with the appointment of Richard Woolf as Intl. Licensing Director.

Rainbow appoints a new CEO for its Bardel Entertainment division, Rick Mischel.

As the NYT re-brands and re-groups its syndication and licensing arms into The New York Times Licensing Group, Michael Greenspoon is appointed as its Manager.

The U.S. Olympic Committee names Sarah Hirshland as its 12th chief executive officer. Hirshland comes to the org after serving as chief commercial officer for the United States Golf Association.

Xcel Brands taps Jim Fielding to serve on its Board of Directors. Fielding is currently President Consumer Products & Innovation at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox Network Group.

DHX Media appoints Jon Gisby to the position of Managing Director at WildBrain, its digital kids’ network and studio.

Boat Rocker Media names Andrew Spergel to the newly-created role of EVP Boat Rocker Ventures. Spergel was previously SVP Corporate Development & Strategy at Entertainment One.

Spin Master forms a Russian subsidiary, Spin Master Rus LLC, and will begin direct distribution in early 2019. Overseeing sales and marketing activities will be Andrey Savchenko, GM Russia.

Alex Soto is appointed Gaumont’s first Creative Director for animation and family. Soto was most recently Executive of Creative Development for Spin Master Entertainment.

NCC Media veteran CEO Greg Schaefer is named the company’s Executive Chairman, reporting to the NCC Board of Directors. He stays on through the remainder of 2018 to ensure a smooth leadership transition to new President & CEO Nicolle Pangis.

Viacom promotes Kurt Patat to an expanded role as SVP Communications for Paramount Network and CMT.

Under new President & CEO Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s restructures its executive team:

  • The positions of COO, Chief Customer Officer, Corporate Administration Executive,and Chief Development Officer are eliminated.
  • The company initiates an external search for a newly created position, EVP Stores. They will oversee the North, South, and West divisions, Orchard Supply Hardware, operations engineering, pro and services businesses, and asset protection.
  • The senior leaders of the store operations team will report to the CEO until an EVP Stores is named.
  • Mike West serves as a transitional EVP Supply Chain as Lowe’s searches externally for someone to fill the new role.
  • William Boltz joins on Aug. 15 as EVP Merchandising, where he will be responsible for merchandising, marketing, digital and data analytics, and customer insights.
  • COO Richard Maltsbarger leaves the company effective immediately.
  • On Nov. 6, Chief Customer Officer Michael McDermott will also leave Lowe’s.

MGA Entertainment appoints a new Senior Brand Manager, Simone Inskip, for the U.K. Little Tikes team.

Oprah Winfrey makes a significant investment in True Food Kitchen and joins the board of the growing restaurant chain.

Pentland Brands appoints Charlotte Cox as Brand Director Team Sports (Canterbury & Mitre), Kevin McFadyen as Brand Director Berghaus, and Nicola Mathews as Brand Director Fashion (Karen Millen & Ted Baker).

Universal Studios Hollywood named Mariela Ure to the post of CMO. She joins from Wells Fargo & Company.

Brand consultancy outfit Golden Goose appoints the experienced licensing professional Mark Bezodis to the role of commercial director.

Authentic Entertainment co-founder/CEO Lauren Lexton is exiting the production company she co-founded 18 years ago. Authentic’s former Head Development Helga Eike will take over for Lexton, returning as its new President.

The Toy Association remembers Ava Slepicoff, a 31-year veteran of the toy industry, who has just passed.

Steve Ditko has passed away. Ditko was the co-creator of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and several other characters from Marvel, DC, Charlton, and other small publishers. He retired from mainstream comics in the late ’90s.


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