4Kids Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-758-7666): The kids distributor has upped Antoinette Reed from VP of retail to senior VP of sales, marketing and retail administration. Also enjoying a growth spurt is Waldo Cabrera, who moves up from creative director to VP of 4Kids Home Video. A 10-year 4Kids veteran, Cabrera will primarily be responsible for marketing video and DVD products based on all of the company’s TV properties except Pokémon.
Acclaim Entertainment (Glen Cove, New York, 516-656-5000): Marc Metis has jumped over from Activision to become Acclaim’s new senior VP of brand in charge of managing the game studio’s existing roster of franchises, as well as developing and capitalizing on new properties. Metis previously served as Activision’s VP of global brand management, helping to grow the company’s revenue from US$60 million to nearly US$600 million during his eight-year tenure. firstname.lastname@example.org
Disney Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-560-1000): Jessica Dunne has left her senior VP of marketing and off-channel commerce post at Cartoon Network to join the Mouse House’s consumer products division as senior VP of toys. email@example.com
Film Roman (Los Angeles, California, 818-761-2544): Sidney Clifton has been promoted from VP of television development to oversee the indie animation company’s slate as senior VP and head of development and programming. Off to a running start, Clifton has already put five projects into the fast track, including Shlub, a half-hour toon about a boy who’s been raised in a jar. Also on deck is a futuristic comic book-based series called Deity about a teen girl who’s been chosen the save the world.
FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide (London, England, 44-207-691-6000): Operating under a new moniker, Fremantle’s merch unit has gained a new CEO in Simon Spalding, who has been promoted from executive VP and GM of worldwide licensing. Under Spalding’s guidance, the licensing division has launched campaigns for American Idol (U.S.), Pop Idol (U.K.) and the 30th anniversary of preschool show Rainbow. He will continue to have overall responsibility for activity in the brand licensing, home entertainment, archive sales and music publishing arenas, as well as taking on FLW’s interactive business.
Happy Life (Stockholm, Sweden, 46-8-680-3810): Gearing up for a major push into the world of licensing, Scandinavia’s leading animation prodco has recruited Michael Manasse to take over from Peter Gustafsson as managing director. Manasse hails from the music industry, having held managing director posts at Edel Records and EMI Norway, and he’ll be charged with transposing the strong brand awareness that’s developed around the lead characters of animated series The World of Tosh into full-fledged merch programs. Gustafsson will continue developing and managing the company’s TV ventures as executive producer and deputy managing director.
HIT Entertainment US (New York, New York, 212-463-9623): HIT has closed its L.A. office and established a new U.S. headquarters in New York. COO Charlie Caminada has moved there, and he’ll be joined by ex-Gullane senior VP of consumer products for the Americas David Jacobs, who has emerged from the takeover as senior VP of HIT’s brand business group.
The Leverage Group (Beverly Hills, California, 310-550-3338): Since her recent departure from DIC Entertainment, where she served as senior VP of marketing, public relations and promotions, Kathi Sharpe-Ross has joined marketing and promotions consulting company The Leverage Group as executive VP. Based out of L.A., Sharpe-Ross will be working with kids entertainment clients like Sony Wonder and Broadway Video in her new gig.
Nelvana (Toronto, Canada, 416-588-5571): Lynn Chadwick has jumped ship from her VP post at Greenlight International to join the Canadian toonco as director of sales for Northern Europe. Based out of London, Chadwick will manage sales and development in the U.K., Ireland and the Netherlands.
Play Along (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 954-229-1037): On the heels of a six-month period of heavy recruitment that has seen the likes of ex-Cartoon Network senior VP Rick Watkins and former Playmates VP of boys toys Jeff Trojan come aboard as senior VP of product development and VP of marketing respectively, Susan Evans has joined as director of marketing. Previously 4Kids Entertainment’s director of marketing for the licensing division, Evans will be responsible for brand development, marketing and advertising at Play Along.
Pokémon USA (New York, New York, 646-497-0400): Lori Heiss has joined as licensing manager and will oversee the über-brand’s merch business in North America and Latin America. Heiss used to be an account executive at Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Polyconcept (Stamford, Connecticut, 203-358-8100): The toy and consumer electronics manufacturer has promoted Tony Colecchi from VP to executive VP of sales and marketing. With licenses like Barbie Nostalgic, M&Ms and Crayola to work with, Colecchi will focus on boosting an already strong growth rate that has seen sales triple in the past three years.
Sony Pictures Consumer Products (Culver City, California, 310-244-7788): With a remit to craft promo campaigns that will spike sales for lines of hard goods based on Sony’s film and TV properties, Jeffrey Shapiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined as executive director of retail sales and promotions. Shapiro hails from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, where he served as executive director.
In other division news, Erin Morris (email@example.com) has been upped from senior manager of retail sales and promotions to director of marketing.
Take Two Interactive (New York, New York, 212-334-6633): Moving over from rival gameco THQ, Jeffrey Lapin has taken over the reins as CEO. Lapin was previously vice chairman, COO and a director at THQ.
Universal Studios Television Distribution Canada (Toronto, Canada, 416-491-3000): Ron Suter has been upped from VP and GM to senior VP and GM of the Canuck distribution unit, as well as being named senior VP of Universal Studios Canada.
Wild Brain (San Francisco, California, 415-553-8000): Veteran animation and visual effects producer Andrea Mansour has come aboard as head of Wild Brain’s commercial division, which has produced animated spots for KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Pillsbury’s Jolly Green Giant and Hershey’s ‘Dancing Kisses.’ Mansour leaves behind a creative program director position at design and consulting firm Sapient to make the move.
Yoram Gross-EM.TV (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-9519-1366): Jean Russell has joined as marketing and sales manager with responsibility for consolidating the growth of the company’s local licensing division. Russell hails from HarperCollins, where she headed up the Golden Press division.