Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner dies, days after stepping down for well being causes

Brian Goldner, Hasbro CEO

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

The toy maker Hasbro announced Tuesday that its Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner has passed away. just two days after he was on sick leave.

Goldner, 58, has been CEO since 2008. He joined the company in 2000 and became Chairman of the Hasbro Board of Directors in 2015.

Rich Stoddart, most recently Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, was named interim CEO when Goldner went on medical leave.

“Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro since joining the company more than two decades ago,” Stoddart said in a statement. “As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the gaming and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world.”

Last August, Goldner announced that he had been receiving medical treatment for cancer since 2014.

While at Hasbro, he successfully expanded the business beyond toys and games to include television, films and digital games. Goldner’s tenure was marked by a focus on leveraging the company’s brands across the entertainment spectrum.

In 2019 he has pioneered the acquisition of Entertainment One by Hasbro for $ 3.8 billion, the Toronto-based studio best known for “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks”.

Goldner also served as a director on the board of ViacomCBS.

Read the full Hasbro press release here.

—CNBCs Sarah Whitten contributed to this reporting.

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Niantic is working with Hasbro on a Pokémon GO-style Transformers recreation – TechCrunch

Niantic encouraged the world to roam the streets as a Pokémon trainer and wizard … next? Time for transformation and rollout.

80’s Mega Toy Transformers is the latest IP to partner with Niantic to create a map-heavy, geolocating game.

Details are still a bit bright, but here’s pretty much everything we know:

  • It will be called Transformers: Heavy Metal. You have made a pre-registration Page here.
  • It’s being built in partnership with Hasbro, TOMY, and the Seattle gaming team, Very Very Spaceship.
  • Players will become part of the Guardian Network, according to the announcement, “a group of people who have teamed up with the Autobots in a war against the Decepticons.”
  • It is based on Niantic’s Lightship platform, the same underlying engine that Pokémon GO, Harry Potter Wizards Unite and the. drives still under development Catan: World Explorers.
  • When does it arrive? Nothing special yet, but it will soon be launched in “select markets” and then “later this year” worldwide. This gradual introduction is typically Niantic’s approach; Pokémon GO first landed in Japan, while Catan was quietly introduced in New Zealand last year.

They’ve only released a little concept art so far, and it suggests gameplay not dissimilar to GO and Wizards Unite. This battle screen on the right definitely looks like a Pokémon GO battle:

Photo credits: Niantic

Will this one take over the world like Pokémon GO did in the summer of 2016? Maybe not – that you hit a lot of the right notes at the right time, the perfect mix of novelty and nostalgia. But Wizards Unite has found enough audience that it’s still in active development two years after it launched, so Niantic seems to be seeing room for more card-oriented games. In that regard, a Niantic representative mentioned that this is one of ten real world titles currently in development, which suggests they see plenty of room there.

Hasbro income falls quick on weak leisure manufacturing enterprise

FIILE PHOTO: A Monopoly board game from Hasbro Gaming can be seen in this illustrative photo taken on August 13, 2017. REUTERS / Thomas White / Illustration

Hasbro Inc. (HAS.O) Sales estimates for the first quarter were not met on Tuesday as COVID-19 delays weighed on the toy maker’s film and television production business.

The company has focused on entertainment production for the past several years to drive growth faster than traditional toy sales.

In 2019, the company acquired Entertainment One, the company behind Peppa Pig and the television series “The Walking Dead”, to quickly expand its entertainment capabilities. However, production setbacks and the closure of theaters resulted in a 34% drop in sales in the TV and film businesses.

The Monopoly maker’s net sales rose 1% to $ 1.11 billion in the three months to March 28, but fell short of analysts’ estimates of $ 1.17 billion, according to an IBES estimate by Refinitiv.

Hasbro’s net income was $ 116.2 million, or 84 cents per share, compared to a loss of $ 69.7 million, or 51 cents per share, last year.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Hasbro seems to Leisure One to show it right into a media contender

Game maker Hasbro.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

About three months later Hasbro The pandemic completed the $ 3.8 billion acquisition of Entertainment One and weighed on the entertainment industry.

Covid ceased production and limited personal contact between the Rhode Island-based toy company and the Toronto-based studio known for “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”

Although Hasbro more than tripled the number of entertainment projects it worked on last year, the company has yet to fully leverage eOne’s capabilities as a manufacturing house.

The collaboration promised to transform Hasbro from a toy manufacturer involved in film and television into a full-blown media competitor with the ability to produce and distribute content worldwide. At a meeting with investors on Thursday, Hasbro is expected to announce additional entertainment plans.

“With eOne, Hasbro has established preschool brands and a company that is able to develop entire series and films based on [in-house] IP, “said Eric Handler, director of media and entertainment equity research at MKM Partners.

While eOne’s sales declined in 2020, the fourth quarter earnings offered a positive sign for the future. Hasbro’s TV, film and entertainment segment saw sales of $ 214.5 million, up 20% as the company completed and monetized a number of projects with its TV partners. Still, like many others in the industry, it was forced to cut costs and recently laid off 10% of its film and television staff, or about 60 employees.

“Sometime between 2022 and 2023, you should see two to three of our films and three to four shows streamed every year,” said Brian Goldner, CEO of Hasbro. “And then we’ll scale that as we add new IPs as we also do the following seasons of the shows that we already have [created]. “

Hasbro stock fell from a 52-week high of $ 101.24 in mid-January. The stock closed at $ 90.91 on Wednesday, a year-to-date decline of 2.8% and a year-over-year increase of only 4.4% for a market value of approximately $ 12.46 billion.

Handler expects the entertainment business to grow in importance in the coming years.

“If you look at Hasbro in five to ten years from now, they will most likely still have a very strong toy business, but you will see a lot more contributions from movies, television, and video games with Wizards of the Coast,” Handler said. “You are seeing an emerging media story here.”

Entertainment is in its DNA

Hasbro is no stranger to the entertainment industry. In the early 1980s, the company and Sunbow Productions began creating animated series based on Transformers and GI Joe products. After a three-decade partnership, Hasbro has regained its animated series and started creating its own programs.

For the past decade, Hasbro’s franchises have hit the big screen. The Transformers films, produced in association with Paramount Pictures, grossed more than $ 4.8 billion at the global box office, and the two GI Joe films totaled nearly $ 700 million.

Other forays, such as Hasbro’s attempt to make a battleship film, were less successful. While “Battleship” made a profit at the box office, it was condemned by critics. The film scored only 34% on Rotten Tomatoes and was criticized as poorly written and too formulaic.

Transformers franchise

Source: Dreamworks | Paramount

Hasbro also created television shows for brands like Transformers and My Little Pony that premiered on the Cartoon Network. Netflix and Youtube.

“Hasbro really had no stop in the production and development of their own intellectual property, so many partners used them to bring their intellectual property to life,” said Darren Throop, President and CEO of eOne.

The company will continue to work on existing contracts with studios like Paramount. With eOne as their production company, Hasbro now has a dedicated team that brings their toys to life on screen. It’s number one priority, said Throop.

The Peppa Effect

Throops eOne is best known for its Peppa Pig programming, which was the best-streamed kids’ show last year, and Hasbro’s No. 1 licensed franchise, which sells over $ 1 billion worth of merchandise annually.

By generating engagement first through content, eOne was able to increase demand later through toys and consumer goods – a model that is set to be replicated in the future. While Hasbro has turned big franchises like Star Wars and Marvel into toys, most of its entertainment production has been based on turning its toys into content.

Throop said both strategies are equally effective.

Julian Parker | UK Press | Getty Images

In one case, fans are already familiar with a game or toy, and it is their nostalgia or love for the brand that leads them to buy movie tickets, tune into weekly episodes, or watch an entire season on a streaming service . The other strategy is to get consumers excited about a show or movie and then introduce products that they can buy based on the content.

With the acquisition of eOne, Hasbro can now do both on a large scale.

Independent of distribution

For the most part, this content will be based on Hasbro IP or a new creation from eOne that will later evolve into a toy line. However, Hasbro is not limiting eOne’s production schedule.

Prior to its takeover, eOne was the international distributor of titles such as “12 Years a Slave” and “1917” and produced titles such as ABC’s “The Rookie” with Nathan Fillion. Throop’s division is allowed to continue to move outside the toy industry to create content that is profitable without a consumer goods line.

EOne is already producing a show called “Cruel Summer” for Freeform and Amazon by Michelle Purple and Jessica Biel. It also released the movie “Happiest Season” on Hulu over the holidays. Financial terms for these deals were not specified.

Even if traditional media companies are increasingly switching to streaming services, Hasbro is not planning to start its own platform, according to Goldner. Instead, the plan is to take advantage of major entertainment brands like Disney, HBO and Paramount Start competing services.

“We found that all major studios are streaming services and are increasingly sticking to their own IP,” said Goldner. “As an independent provider, we therefore have the opportunity to present these streaming services such as Netflix with first-class, high-performance branded IP. Apple, Amazon, and some others who used to have access to others’ content and are now looking for great brands. “

Hasbro has dozens of projects in the works spanning theater, streaming, and cable releases. As “GI Joe: Snake Eyes” hits theaters, the animated series based on Clue goes to Fox.

“We’re agnostic about delivery,” Throop said. “We sell to everyone.”

Disclosure: Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Fandango, a subsidiary of CNBC owner Comcast.