Mattel is launching a new global franchise management division designed to pursue untapped commercial opportunities for its brands and to unify functions such as content development and distribution, consumer products, digital gaming, live events and strategic partnerships.
Industry vet Janet Hsu (pictured) has been hired to lead this broad-reaching business unit in her new role as chief franchise management officer. Reporting directly to Mattel president and COO Richard Dickson, she will be responsible for developing and implementing franchise strategy for all brands.
Hsu comes to Mattel from Saban Brands, where she served as CEO. But before that, she held senior exec positions at Sanrio and MGA Entertainment. She’s also no stranger to Mattel, having previously worked there as a director of sales for Walmart and Toys “R” Us from 2002 to 2005.
The launch of this new division comes on the heels of the toymaker announcing plans to scale back more than 2,200 office jobs. In light of recent declines—its worldwide Q2 net sales fell 14% to US$840.7 million, and gross sales shrunk by 11% to US$954.1 million—Mattel will be cutting 22% of its global non-manufacturing workforce.
There have already been a lot of high-level staffing changes at the toyco lately. Earlier this year, Margo Georgiadis stepped down as CEO after just 14 months in the role, and former Maker Studios chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz has replaced her. Georgiadis’ departure was preceded by Juliana Chugg exiting her role as chief brand officer.