Succeeding outgoing CEO Nick Phillips, Deborah Dugan is the new CEO of troubled kids biz player Entertainment Rights. Additionally chief creative and commercial director Jane Smith has exited the company.
Prior to her appointment, Dugan was heading up ER’s North American division. She took that post in April 2007 and, under her guiding hand, sales in home video and consumer products areas increased. Her pre-ER days most notably included a stint as president of Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Dugan’s got a tough job ahead of her, if she’s to turn around the company’s current situation. ER has already reported to the London Stock Exchange that retail trade shipments will be later than anticipated and sales will be lower than expected and that Woolworths and subsidiary Entertainment UK currently owe ER approximately US$1.2 million from DVD sales. The retailer has entered administration and ER may have to eat a loss of US$741,000 if Woolworths is unable to pay. Also, lay-offs that began last month to reduce costs will continue. The company is looking to cut its head count by roughly 33%, dropping a total of 50 staff from its 150-member payroll by the beginning of 2009, cutting costs by approximately US$7.4 million.
In the meantime, ER has secured a short-term credit deal with principal lender HBOS for US$19.2 million to cover the period up to February 28, 2009.