Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Has Died

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The company recently said it was taking a leave of absence for medical care

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Hasbro did not disclose the cause of death.

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“On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter and the entire family,” said board member Rich Stoddart, who was named Interim CEO of Hasbro over the weekend.

Mr. Goldner played the role of a fine corporate leader. Still, he was undoubtedly a toy executive. His cellphone voice-mail message was recorded by the Transformers character Optimus Prime, and he had one of the original suits donned by White Ranger from the Power Rangers.

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His death leaves the company, which has a market value of about $12 billion, in the hands of lieutenants to navigate sales strategies and supply-chain challenges during the make-or-break times of the year.

At an industry event last month, Mr. Goldner said Hasbro has enough inventory for the holiday season.

Mr. Goldner began his career in marketing and the toy industry at Bandai America Inc., where, under close friend and mentor Haim Saban, he helped translate characters from the Power Rangers franchise into toys.

He joined Hasbro in 2000, and became CEO in 2008. He was the first outsider to lead the company, After a series of family members and a longtime employee, Monopoly is best known for its board games, Nerf Guns and Transformers.

Under his watch, Hasbro developed what became known as the Brand Blueprint, which focused on developing strong story lines and entertainment around the myriad Hasbro brands to promote sales of toys, games and other merchandise. .

He pushed Hasbro into the big screen movies launched under the Transformers franchise. He led the $4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd in 2019, a production studio that also owns Peppa Pig and other children’s properties, Betting big on entertainment aimed at young children.

In a note to Hasbro staff on Sunday, he told officials to keep going with his plan.

“Hasbro’s future couldn’t be brighter, thank you all – the best team in the business,” wrote Mr. Goldner. “Let’s continue to supercharge Blueprint as we build Hasbro into the world’s leading play and entertainment company.”

—Steven Russolillo contributed to this article.

Write to Paul Ziobro at [email protected]

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