American toyco Jakks Pacific has hired former Disney and Mattel exec John Kimble (pictured) as its new EVP and CFO, effective yesterday. Kimble reports to Jakks chairman and CEO Stephen Berman (whose own contract was extended until 2021), and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the toymaker’s financial planning, analysis, accounting and financial reporting, as well managing taxes, internal audits, treasury duties and investor relations.
Prior to joining Jakks, Kimble held a number of exec roles at Mattel, including VP head of corporate development, licensing acquisition, mergers and acquisitions. Before that he served as VP of brand finance as well as its VP and CFO of finance, strategy, operations and outbound licensing.
He also has experience from Disney where he was the VP and CFO, finance, strategy and business development for Disney Interactive Studios for three years, and held multiple senior management roles at Disney at its DCP toys, electronics division, including VP and CFO and deputy GM of finance, planning and business development, where he was responsible for managing its global toy business.
Kimble joins the company amid recent rumors that rival toycos are making bids to take over Jakks. In September and October, respectively, Bloomberg reported that Just Play and Jazwares were looking to buy the toyco and had made offers. However, these reports were just rumors, a spokesperson for Jakks Pacific tells Kidscreen.
The new hire also comes as Jakks experiences a period of growth after several quarters of downturn. The toyco’s net sales grew 18% to US$280.1 million in Q3 2019, up from last year, according to the company’s most recent financial report released earlier this month. Driven by strong initial sales for products related to the upcoming Disney film Frozen 2, this increase marks the largest year-over-year quarterly growth for the toymaker in nearly five years, said Berman in the financial report. Online sales had climbed 32% compared to Q3 2018 and its gross profit for the quarter was US$80.8 million, a 25% increase from last year.