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Who’s News: Spin Master, LEGO and Skydance

Spin Master Announces Two Nominations to its Board of Directors

Spin Master, the Canadian-based global children’s entertainment company, has announced the nomination of Ed Clark and Max Rangel (pictured) to the company’s Board of Directors. Clark will join the Board as Deputy Chair while Rangel will serve as a Director. Both will stand for election at Spin Master’s annual meeting May 6.

“Ed is a legendary Canadian business leader with demonstrated experience of driving significant growth and stewarding large, successful companies,” said Anton Rabie, Spin Master’s Co-Founder. “We are so privileged to have him join the Board as Deputy Chair, bringing his deep business and governance experience to help guide Spin Master’s next phase of growth.”

Clark is an experienced board director with a storied career in the financial industry, including holding the role of Group President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group from 2002 until his retirement in 2014. During that time, he oversaw a pronounced focus on retail operations and customer relations that saw TD grow to become Canada’s second largest bank with global brand recognition. In 2010, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest distinctions and in 2016, he was inducted as a Companion of the Canadian Order of the Business Hall of Fame.

Rangel joined Spin Master in January 2021 as Global President and now expands his role, becoming Global President & CEO and Board Director. He is responsible for the execution of the company’s long-term strategy and leading day-to-day operations. Rangel is a seasoned executive who has successfully led global businesses generating growth across multiple consumer packaged goods categories. Prior to joining Spin Master, he held progressive positions with SC Johnson & Sons serving as SVP, President of Lifestyle Brands in International Markets and SVP, President, Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East & Russia regions.

“We are pleased to welcome both Ed and Max to the Board and are energized to work together to accelerate Spin Master’s growth and create long-term value for our shareholders,” said Ronnen Harary, Spin Master’s Co-Founder.  “We have a clearly defined vision for our future, we have full confidence in our strategy, and we see the tremendous potential of our three creative centres encompassing toys, entertainment and digital games.”

With the addition of Clark and Rangel, the Board will comprise 12 members, including Spin Master Co-Founders, Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie, who will continue to drive the long-term vision and strategy for the company, as well as pursue external partnerships and explore M&A opportunities. Harary will remain actively involved in the creative process for the entertainment creative centre and continue his oversight of the digital games creative centre. Rabie will provide guidance on Spin Master’s talent and culture globally.

Skydance Appoints Head of Consumer Products

Skydance Media has named Luis Fernández to the newly-created role of head of consumer products. In this role, Fernández will lead the company’s growing retail, merchandise and licensee partnerships across all categories of the company. 

“Luis has both a keen design and business sense and has been instrumental in building some of the most iconic franchises ever, and we’re thrilled to have him join the Skydance team at this pivotal time,” says Jesse Sisgold, president and chief executive officer, Skydance Media and Holly Edwards, president, Skydance Animation. “He will be an incredible asset to the studio as we ramp up our consumer products division and will further our goal of offering fans a multitude of opportunities to engage with a film or show’s world long after the credits roll.” 

Fernández will be responsible for driving the creative strategy, design and franchise development for the studio’s upcoming slate of live-action feature films and television with a strong emphasis on the growing portfolio for Skydance Animation. 

Before joining Skydance, Fernández served as senior vice president and central creative in consumer products and interactive media at The Walt Disney Company. His responsibilities included design, branding, character art, marketing, music and fashion. While at Disney, he was the chief creative running design strategy on the company’s many franchises, including Mickey Mouse, Disney Princesses, Disney Animation, Disney Channel, Pixar and Star Wars, and Disney Parks and Resorts merchandise.

“I am excited to join David, Jesse, John and Holly at Skydance,” says Fernández. “The stories that the studio is telling and the level of creative talent behind them are truly astounding, and I can’t wait to begin to expand on these worlds, giving fans new ways to experience Skydance properties.”

The LEGO Foundation Names New CEO

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

The LEGO Foundation has hired on Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen as its new CEO, taking over the role on Sept. 1. Albrectsen will succeed the current CEO John Goodwin, who has led the organization since 2017.

Goodwin will continue as chairman of the board of LEGO House and as a member of the LEGO education advisory board.

Albrectsen joined the LEGO Foundation’s board last year, coming to the company from her former role as CEO of Plan International, a British non-profit organization focused on children’s rights and welfare.

Albrectsen previously served as United Nations assistant secretary general and deputy executive director for management at the United Nations Population Fund and is the co-chair of the board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

In her new role with the LEGO Foundation Albrectsen will oversee research activities, strategic partnerships and new social ventures.

The LEGO Foundation provides funding for research across early childhood development and education, and partners with other organizations on a variety of research and development projects related to child development.

WarnerMedia Appoints VP of TV Licensing for Italy, Spain and Portugal

Barbara Salabè, country manager, WarnerMedia Italy, Spain and Portugal, has appointed Angel Yllera as vice president of TV licensing, affiliate sales and digital distribution for Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Manuel Del Rosso, vice president, digital distribution in Italy and Spain, and Guido Tundis, executive sales director, international TV distribution, Italy and Italian Switzerland, will report directly to Yllera.

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