Children’s Place Retail (Secaucus, New Jersey, 201-558-2400): After operating without a president for many years, the retailer has filled the vacancy with Neal Goldberg, former president of Gap Inc.’s outlet division. In his new role, Goldberg will be charged with overseeing marketing, store operations and all aspects of the merchandising process in CPR’s 693 retail stores across North America.
Decode Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-363-8034): After five years with the company and hot on the heels of a major sale to Asia for Franny’s Feet, Dominique Bazay has been promoted to VP of distribution from director of sales. Bazay will continue her drive to lock down international sales in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia for Decode’s existing and developing TV shows.
As the man who built Decode Interactive from the ground up, Dan Fill has been bumped from manager to VP of interactive. Fill’s division creates and licenses television-based broadband websites and interactive TV, and has recently started developing console games.
Discovery Networks Europe (London, England, 44-207-462-3600): Arthur Bastings, Turner’s former managing director for Northern and Central Europe, has come aboard to head up Discovery’s pan-European arm as senior VP and GM. Bastings will be responsible for managing business development and channel brands in more than 90 territories across continental Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Fox Kids Europe (London, England, 44-207-554-9000): Ronnie Cook has been tapped to head up FKE’s consumer products division Active Licensing Europe as managing director. Cook will lean heavily on his experience as head of consumer brands at The Television Corporation, where he marketed and managed the merch program for Robot Wars.
Granada International (London, England, 44-207-491-1441): The international group of the merged Carlton/Granada division has picked Nadine Nohr to head up its operations. Nohr will oversee offices in both London and Los Angeles, managing co-productions, acquisitions, format licensing and international video/DVD activities. Nohr, who was managing director of Granada International before the merger, will start off in her new role by overseeing the 3-D remake of Captain Scarlet.
Marvel Studios (New York, New York, 212-576-4035): Following stints at Creative Artists, Walt Disney, Livent and most recently serving as head of Endeavor Agency’s corporate strategy and business development division, David Maisel has joined Marvel Studios as president and COO. Maisel will find new ways to re-invent and maximize Marvel’s library of 4,700 characters, using entertainment strategies involving theatrical films, direct-to-video and DVD, TV and live theatrical productions.
Marvel has also decided to take a more hands-on approach to one of its key ancillary categories, launching a new game development unit under the leadership of manager Ames Kirshen. In an interesting twist, Kirshen hails from DC Comics and Warner Bros., where he produced titles such as Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (with Ubi Soft) and Superman: Shadow Of Apokolips (with Atari). Kirshen has jumped right into his new role, developing five new comic-based titles with Activision, Encore, Universal Games and THQ for release between now and December 2005. The vidgame arm will also explore other character-based gaming opportunities beyond consoles.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): After 13 years with the broadcast conglom, Tom Ascheim has been assigned to manage all of Nick’s digital channels as executive VP and GM. Previously GM of The N and Noggin, Ascheim will continue to oversee these channels, as well as taking on responsibility for Nicktoons, Nickelodeon Games and Sports and its video-on-demand service.
Steve Greider returns to Nick as senior VP of the international division after an absence of three years. In this newly created role, Greider will work from New York to facilitate programming and content development across the many branches of MTV Networks International. Greider is coming off a stint as GM of Travel Channel US, but before that he was GM of Nickelodeon Latin America in Miami.
Expect a whack of new business card orders from Nick’s Consumer Products division. Nancy Wolpert has been promoted from director of retail development to senior director of video. Margaret Milner has been bumped up from director to senior director of books, and former coordinator Dana Rosen takes over as manager of toys from Victoria Bush, who steps into a new post as director of stationery, social expressions and activity toys.
And lastly, ex-JP Morgan Chase VP of Internet marketing Javier Farfan joins as director of the Promotions Marketing division, where he will be responsible for developing on- and off-channel marketing and promotional opportunities. His first order of business will be to secure promo partners for Nickelodeon movie releases to leverage new or incremental exposure.
Radica Games (Dallas, Texas, 972-490-4247): Jeanne Olson has been promoted from executive VP and GM to president of North American operations and will manage all of the gameco’s global brands, as well as overseeing sales, marketing, product development, finance and operations. Prior to joining Radica in 2000, Olson was senior VP of sales and marketing at Lyrick Studios and has held executive positions at Mattel, Hasbro and Tonka Toys in the past.
Wild Planet Toys (San Francisco, California, 415-705-8300): After working with the Wild Planet team on promoting its 2003 Kool-Aid’s Mad Voice Twister line via his company Volpe/Lamontagne Communications, Rob Volpe has joined the ranks of the innovative toyco as senior promotional marketing manager, and is now looking for promo partners for Aqua Pets. Meanwhile, the Wild Planet sales force adds one more person in the form of national sales manager Sydney Thatcher, who used to manage key retail accounts for puppet manufacturer Folkmanis Puppets.
Wormser Company (Chicago, Illinois, 312-525-2670): To help manage its recently acquired Dr. Denton brand, the sleepwear manufacturer and distributor recently brought in Larry Nusbaum as CEO. Nusbaum will work with company president Josh Wormser on building out a line for the four- to 14-year-old age bracket that launched earlier this year. Another goal will be to deepen retail penetration of the Dr. Denton sleep ‘n play and blanket sleeper brand through advertising and in-store merchandising efforts.