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Who’s News—November 2018

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

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Elise Contarsy is named SVP Bonnier Consumer Products. Based in Bonnier Corp.’s NY office, Contarsy reports to CEO Eric Zinczenko. She continues to serve on the Board of the Licensing Industry Merchandising Association (LIMA) and is a consultant to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

Abrams Artists Agency hires two agents to build out its alternative programming, digital media, licensing, and branding division. Maxwell Mitcheson is based in Los Angeles and Henry Gordon in New York; both report to the division’s SVP, Alec Shankman.

Pentland Brands Ltd. appoints Katrina Nurse as its new CFO. The company owns Speedo, Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Endura, Boxfresh, Ellesse, and Mitre; it also licenses Ted Baker and Karen Millen footwear globally, Kickers in the U.K., and has a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear.

Michael Lunsford joins Funko’s Board of Directors.

Viacom names former Lego exec Lars Silberbauer its new SVP MTV Digital Studios.

Activision Blizzard adds veteran NFL executive Johanna Faries to the company’s Esports Leagues leadership team, where she will serve as Head Product for the Call of Duty World League.

Valiant Entertainment hires Oliver Taylor as Intl. Licensing Coordinator following a stint as a Sales Intern.

Michelle Mosier joins Hamilton Beach Brands Holding Co. this month and will assume the roles of VP, CFO & Treasurer effective Jan. 1, 2019. She replaces James Taylor, who is retiring after 35 years.

Timberland appoints Christopher Raeburn to serve as Global Creative Director for the brand.

PlayFusion is growing its North American team: Jason Brenner is promoted to VP Sales & Marketing North America, Richard Dracass will be North American Retail Manager, Steve DeVries is joining the company as North American Marketing Manager, and Tayson Turner has been hired as North American Organized Play Coordinator. The company is behind multi-media trading card games Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions and Lightseekers. adds to its retail leadership team: Catherine Borda is appointed to the newly created position of Chief Customer Officer, Chris Donnelly is Chief of Staff to the President, and former Co-President Dave Nielsen returns in the role of Chief Sourcing & Operations Officer.

James “JC” Curleigh is appointed CEO of guitar company Gibson Brands.

Wanda Ferragamo, who built her husband’s small Italian shoe business—Salvatore Ferragamo—into a global luxury brand, has died at age 96.

Corus Entertainment EVP & COO Barb Williams is retiring from the Canadian broadcaster.

Pixar Co-founder and the President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Ed Catmull plans to retire next year. He will step down from his position at the end of the year and continue on in an advisory capacity through July 2019. Pixar President Jim Moss and Walt Disney Animation Studios president Andrew Millstein will oversee the operation of their respective studios, reporting in to Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman. Both studios will continue to be led creatively by Chief Creative Officers Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee, who moved into their respective roles after longtime Pixar chief John Lasseter stepped down in June due to misconduct allegations. Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical last November, citing unspecified “missteps”. He then segued into a consulting role at the company that will end on Dec. 31, 2018.

Refinery29 lays off 10% of its workforce, or 40 employees, because of missed revenue projections in a move that will impact its product, engineering, and video teams. The digital media empire reassured remaining employees that its direct-to-consumer business—including 29Rooms, an immersive art exhibition of sorts—was up 300%.









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