4Kids Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-590-2100): Rosalind Nowicki has been promoted from SVP to EVP of marketing and licensing and will now head up the company’s consumer products division. Nowicki has been with 4Kids for six years and was chiefly responsible for building the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand outside of Japan.
She’ll be working closely with Carlin West, who gets a similar bump up from SVP to EVP of acquisitions and development. West will pretty much be consumed with spearheading the launch and development of Chaotic, 4Kids’ ground-breaking TCG-cum-MMOG, which is set to debut online and in comic and hobby stores this summer.
4Kids Entertainment International (London, England, 44-207-297-5980): It’s taken the company some time to restructure its top tier in the wake of MD Simon Philips’ defection to Marvel International in Q4 2006, and the new configuration sees three execs sharing the role as co-MDs. Sandra Vauthier-Cellier (formerly SVP of European licensing) will focus on the Euro market; Stephen Gould (previously SVP of UK licensing, retail and promotions) is charged with property acquisitions and overseeing consumer products activities in the UK; and Olivia Mellett (head of international finance) is in the driver’s seat on finance, legal and operations.
Entertainment Rights North America (New York, New York, 212-763-8408): Mergers are always a little messy, and it can’t help matters when an ocean separates the companies involved. So to keep things tidy as the dust settles on its acquisition of Classic Media and Big Idea earlier this year, the conglom has poached Deborah Dugan from Disney Publishing Worldwide to serve as CEO and president of Entertainment Rights North America. Based out of New York, Dugan will oversee day-to-day operations and mastermind initiatives that make the company’s expanded brand portfolio work harder across TV & film, DVD & video, digital media, music and consumer products. As president of DPW, Dugan was responsible for 275 magazines and 4,000 book titles that generated US$1.8 billion in global retail sales.
Kidrobot (New York, New York, 212-777-7735): As hip-hop hybrid series Yo Gabba Gabba! dances its way through production at Wild Brain, the studio’s art merch subsidiary has brought in Cynthia Roe as its very first CEO. The five-year-old company specializes in sussing out and partnering with new artists to create rare, collectible toys and apparel that are deeply rooted in urban street culture. And its in-house design team brought this same flavor to developing the character models for Yo Gabba Gabba! With a long history in the apparel business that includes stints at Polo Jeans and Sun Apparel, Roe will now focus her energies and expertise on expanding Kidrobot’s business to include new product categories and additional Wild Brain entertainment properties.
Kidz Entertainment (Denmark, Copenhagen, 453-355-6100): Staffing up to tackle Eastern Europe in the wake of merging with EEMC, Europe’s most ambitious licensing agency has recruited Darran Garnham as SVP of sales and marketing for the region. Garnham knows the territory like the back of his hand, having divided his focus between it and India as director of international sales for 4Kids International. In his new role, he’ll be managing the pre-existing EEMC offices, developing relationships with key partners and scouting for new acquisition opportunities.
Rubies Costume Company (Melville, New York, 516-326-1500): The role-play product specialist has brought Lauren Rabinowitz over from the agency side of the business to manage licensor relations and scout for new properties as licensing manager. Prior to joining Rubies, Rabinowitz was an account executive at agency CopCorp Licensing.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-875-6649): Muppet Captain Kevin Clash is rising in the ranks this month, having agreed to take on an expanded role as senior creative advisor. Clash started bringing Elmo to life 20 years ago and still performs regularly as the furry red Sesame Street star. And now he’ll also provide creative input on a broader range of Workshop projects, including international versions of the signature show.
Taffy Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 818-999-0062): Consumer products has obviously been targeted as a growing profit center at Taffy, which has expanded its licensing team under Cynthia Money with the addition of David Di Lorenzo as VP of retail marketing. He’s charged with managing merch programs and promotions across all retail tiers in North America, as well as liaising with licensees to develop sales and marketing strategies and identifying new business opps. Di Lorenzo recently spent a bit of time at DIC Entertainment as VP of retail development, but he really cut his teeth at Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, where he managed sales of licensed merch to 15 accounts and worked on programs for Cat in the Hat and the Curious George TV series.
Toei Animation (Los Angeles, California, 310-996-2240): The anime house has set up a new in-house licensing unit to manage the Digimon consumer products program in the US, and Coy Edmunds has been tapped to lead the effort as director of business development and licensing. Edmunds has been working in the world of sports of late, and left a position as director and agent for Focus Sports Management to join Toei.
TV-Loonland (Paris, France, 33-1-7061-7350): Damien Tromel has signed on as head of creative affairs and development, taking on responsibility for sourcing new projects and talent and supervising the editorial progress of projects in the TV-L pipeline. Tromel has a lot of experience in this vein and most recently worked on Team Galaxy as a storyboard supervisor at Marathon Media.
Walt Disney Television India (Mumbai, India, 91-22-5651-6630): Antoine Villeneuve is trading in croissants for curry this month as he moves south to become Disney Channel’s new SVP and MD in India. Villeneuve has spent the past three years as VP and MD of Jetix France, presiding over the rebrand and then leading the channel to double its audience the next year. In his new post, he’ll oversee a channel portfolio that includes Disney Channel, Toon Disney/Jetix and Hungama TV, which Disney acquired last year.