Hasbro Enters Holiday Season With CEO on Health Leave

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The Brian Goldner-led toy and entertainment company has completed preparations for a major buying season

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“At this time, I need to take the time to focus on my health,” Goldner wrote in a note to staff on Sunday.

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The company has been named as interim chief Rich Stoddart, a longtime board member and former CEO of advertising giant Leo Burnett Worldwide. In addition to his marketing chops, Mr. Stoddart, 58, has some supply-chain experience from his time running Innerworking Inc., which runs marketing campaigns. He and Mr. Goldner are also college friends, having attended Dartmouth College as undergraduates in the early 1980s.

“We could not have asked for a better manager, and I am sure you all will enjoy working with him,” wrote Mr. Goldner.

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Hasbro now turns to the holiday season, a time when the toy industry typically accounts for about half of its retail sales for the entire year. A lot of planning and preparation has already happened for the main sales season, with orders for toys for retailers filled online and in stores for sale.

This year has posed supply-chain challenges, as manufacturing slowdowns and bottlenecks at ports have delayed some shipments of toys. Hasbro is shipping from more ports in Asia and to more locations in the US to ensure it has enough product.

“We are confident that we will have all the products, although we may want a little more product in some categories, we will have product for the holidays,” Mr. Goldner said at an industry event last month.

Hasbro has added new personnel to its leadership team in recent years, including Chief Commercial Officer Michael Hogg and Chief Operating Officer Eric Nieman, who will lean in to execute vacation plans.

Jefferies Group analyst Stephanie Wisink said her outlook on Hasbro’s prospects for next year remains unchanged with the leadership reshuffle. She said in a research note that Mr. Goldner’s decision to take medical leave is “a sign of both his unwavering commitment to being healthy and his courage to do so without harm in any way, day to day, at Hasbro.” Market speculation related to business or their health.”

Mr. Goldner joined Hasbro in 2000 from another toy company, Bandai America Inc., and became CEO in 2008.

Mr. Goldner has shifted the company’s focus from primarily toy making to brand-building through stories and entertainment, which has helped drive sales of Hasbro-owned brands and licensed products so far. This has included a major push into making movies, culminating in the 2019 $4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd., which produces television shows and movies and also owns children’s brands such as Peppa Pig.

Hasbro recently released a new My Little Pony movie on Netflixhandjob

and also acts in films for other brands such as Dungeons & Dragons and Transformers.

This strategy has influenced other toy companies, including Mattel. Inc.,

Which, under its CEO Yvonne Craze, is building out its own brands like Barbie and Hot Wheels, along with movies and streaming television shows.

[email protected] . on Paul Zibro

improvement and amplification

Hasbro has works for other brands such as Dungeons & Dragons and Transformers. An earlier version of this article incorrectly called Dungeons & Dragons. (corrected October 11)


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