AOL (Los Angeles, California, 818-340-5896): LaShun Lawson has been named the new licensing director for AOL’s KOL and its teens service, RED. Developing and creating licensing opportunities for on-line brands is Lawson’s principal duty in the newly created role. She will be dealing with new and existing brands, including Kung Fu Academy and Princess Natasha. Lawson comes to AOL from NFL Players Inc., where she served as assistant VP of multimedia and interactive. Her 10 years of licensing, sales and marketing experience also includes jobs as a supervisor for Coca-Cola, and executive producer/co-owner of Target Sports Marketing.
ABC Australia Enterprises (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-8333-1500): As the new GM for worldwide consumer publishing and content sales, Ty Speer will be tackling DVD distribution, licensing, event management and international product sales. Prior to joining ABC, he worked as GM of sales and commercial products for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation. Before that, he was managing director of Octagon Worldwide, an international consulting agency for the sports and entertainment industries.
American Greetings (Cleveland, Ohio, 216-252-7300): American Greetings is beefing up its properties division with two new hires. Michael Dresner has signed on as VP of marketing for AG properties, and he will put his 15 years of experience to work leading a team to drive brand strategies. Dresner comes from Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, where he served as VP of global brand development. Michele Schuessler also joins the team as brand manager. Schuessler will apply the experience she gained while at Sesame Workshop, where she served as new business development manager after a stint as marketing manager for global consumer products. In her new position, she will be overseeing some of AG’s biggest properties, such as Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.
Bejuba! Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-994-9216): As part of its European expansion plans, Karen Hunter has been called in as head of sales to launch Bejuba!’s U.K. office. In her new post, Hunter will be charged with selling properties showcased at MIPTV last April. Hunter comes to Bejuba! from Egmont Imagination UK, where she served as deputy managing director for international sales. Prior to joining Egmont, she was a sales executive for BBC Worldwide.
BKN International (Westchester County, New York, 914-921-6666): Benoit Runel has signed-on as managing director for BKN New Media, the company’s largest operating subsidiary. In his new job, Runel will be in charge of sales and marketing for established and emerging markets in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He will also head up operations for BKN’s London-based studio, managing international co-productions. Runel was previously Jetix Europe’s senior VP of programming and acquisitions, and also spent seven years in the programming division at France’s TF1.
CBeebies (London, England, 44-207-743-8000): Former BBC Children’s head of animations and program acquisitions Michael Carrington has been bumped to creative director of CBeebies. Carrington will be responsible for CBeebies’ digital channel output on BBC One and Two. He’s logged more than 20 years in children’s television and prior to joining the Beeb in 1990, Carrington served as a producer for Network Ten in Australia, acquisitions executive for the Discovery Channel, and head of television and new media for Create TV.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (New York, New York, 212-633-4400): Stepping up from executive VP of Disney Consumer Product’s global home and infant business, R. Russell Hampton Jr. has been named the new president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. His new job will have him looking after worldwide operations of DPW’s international book and magazine offices. Hampton has served as GM of the Baby Einstein company and VP of strategic planning and corporate development for The Walt Disney Company.
Granada International (London, England, 44-207-396-6000): Katie Foster has been appointed the director of licensing and will be charged with increasing Granada’s licensing department output. Foster most recently served as brand business director for HIT Entertainment, and was responsible for the launch of Bob the Builder. Her career in licensing began at BBC Worldwide with her work on Wallace and Gromit. Flavio Medeiros, meanwhile, takes up the sales executive post at Granada’s new Latin America office and is charged with developing the company’s profile with Spanish-language U.S. networks and regional broadcasters. Medeiros is a former programming executive for Walt Disney in Latin America and a senior manager of programming and acquisitions at Jetix.
HIT Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-463-9623): In the new role of VP of creative resources, Jorge Ferreiro is now shepherding the company’s creative direction in licensing, home entertainment and overall brand activities. Ferreiro brings more than 20 years of creative experience to HIT and prior to taking up his new post he served as VP of global creative at Sesame Workshop. He’s also done stints at Fox Family Worldwide as its department head for creative and marketing services and at Disney Consumer Products as a creative director.
Jetix Europe (London, England, 44-208-222-3600): Jetix Europe has bumped Boel Ferguson up from managing director of Jetix Nordic to managing director of both Jetix Nordic and Jetix UK. Ferguson has been overseeing operations of the channel’s on-line and interactive divisions since 1999. In her new job, Ferguson will be adding the operation of the UK channel to her current responsibilities.
Nickelodeon Asia (Shanghai, China, 65-6420-7213): Alex Chien has been promoted to VP of creative and content and will be leading all creative strategies across Nick Asia channels. Chien moves up from director of creative and content. Prior to joining Nick, she was head of production and programming for Walt Disney Television International’s Asia Pacific operation.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): As the new VP of developing and emerging markets, Shari Rosenfeld will oversee Sesame Street co-productions in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia and South Africa. Prior to starting in this newly created position, Rosenfeld served as project manager, where she helped shepherd several international Sesame Street productions to market including Galli Galli Sim Sim in India and Rruga Sesam in Kosovo.
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (Universal City, California, 818-777-5391): Jeremy Laws moves from executive director of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to senior VP of the newly created Universal Mobile Entertainment. The new division is dedicated to exploiting mobile content opps, and Laws will head up all licensing and promotions efforts, backed by his sales teams in North America, Europe and Asia. Laws joined USCPG in 1999 as an executive director.