DHX has named veteran entertainment executive Eric Ellenbogen its new CEO.
Ellenbogen, a former president and CEO of Marvel Enterprises, takes over from Michael Donovan, who will continue to serve on the board as founding chair.
Based in New York where DHX’s Peanuts Worldwide offices are located, Ellenbogen will be tasked with building on the company’s strategic priorities—namely to grow its IP assets (which includes Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou and Inspector Gadget), expand its presence in international markets, and position itself for future growth.
Donovan first revealed in the spring that DHX had initiated a process to find his successor, after he stepped down from the CEO role in February 2018 amid a comprehensive overhaul of DHX’s executive ranks.
For his part, Ellenbogen has vast experience in the kids and family space. He previously served as president of Wisconsin-based Golden Books Family Entertainment, and as CEO of Marvel Enterprises in the late ’90s. In 2000, he co-founded the branded kids’ and family entertainment company Classic Media, which was acquired by DreamWorks Animation in 2012. From there, Ellenbogen became co-head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television, helping spearhead the company’s entrance to the TV business.
In addition to the CEO position, Ellenbogen will serve as the vice chair of DHX’s board of directors, which he joined late last year. In April, he was also appointed as a senior advisor to the company.
The CEO appointment comes after two years of seismic change at the Halifax-based company. In the fall of 2017, the company initiated a year-long strategic review in which it explored a number of moves, including selling the business (or specific parts of it), or a merger with another company. Following a number of executive departures—including Dana Landry and Steven DeNure—DHX concluded the review in September 2018, ultimately opting to refocus its content strategy and consolidate a number of its business units.