(Updated) October 12, 2021 – Just two days after stepping away from his Chairman & CEO role for health reasons, Brian Golder has passed away at age 58, Hasbro has said today. A cause of death was not disclosed, though he had told shareholders that he had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer.
Rich Stoddart, Interim CEO, said “Since joining the Company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro. As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world. His visionary leadership, kindness, and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and entire family.”
Mr. Goldner, 58, joined Hasbro in 2000 and was quickly recognized as a visionary in the industry. He was appointed CEO in 2008 and became Chairman of the Board in 2015. He was instrumental in transforming the Company into a global play and entertainment leader, architecting a strategic Brand Blueprint to create the world’s best play and storytelling experiences. Through his tireless work ethic and unwavering focus, he expanded the Company beyond toys and games into television, movies, digital gaming and beyond, to ensure Hasbro’s iconic brands reached every consumer. The culmination of his pioneering strategy was the 2019 acquisition of independent entertainment studio eOne. Mr. Goldner served on the Board of Directors of ViacomCBS and was the Chair of the Compensation Committee. Mr. Goldner and his wife Barbara were passionate advocates for improving systems of care for vulnerable members of society.
Edward M. Philip, Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, said “Brian’s passing is a tremendous loss for Hasbro and the world. Brian was universally admired and respected in the industry, and throughout his over twenty years at Hasbro, his inspiring leadership and exuberance left an indelible mark on everything and everyone he touched. A mentor and friend to so many, his passion and creativity took Hasbro to new heights. Our love and thoughts are with his wife, daughter, and family during this extraordinarily sad time.”
October 10, 2021 – Hasbro Chairman & CEO Brian D. Goldner to take medical leave to focus on his health. The head of the company behind Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons and so many of the world’s top toy and entertainment brands, announced that he was stepping away due to continued medical care following treatment for cancer in 2014.
Rich Stoddart, most recently the Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, has been appointed as Interim CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Stoddart brings extensive leadership experience and expertise in global brand-building, advertising and marketing, and supply chain management through his CEO roles at InnerWorkings, Inc., the largest global marketing execution company, and Leo Burnett Worldwide. He has served on Hasbro’s Board of Directors since 2014. Together with Hasbro’s seasoned executive leadership, he will continue to execute the Company’s Brand Blueprint strategy.
Mr. Goldner said: “After careful consideration, I have decided to take a medical leave to focus on my health. I feel confident knowing the Company will be in the skilled hands of Rich Stoddart as Interim CEO, our highly experienced management team and the best employees in the business. Hasbro’s future couldn’t be brighter as we continue to Supercharge the Blueprint and build the world’s leading play and entertainment company.”
Hasbro has a lot of reach. Not only do they own many of the most powerful brands in tabletop, but they own a major film and tv studio, Entertainment One, that has allowed them to put many of their brands into development to create movies and shows. They bought the company for $4 billion dollars in August of 2019 and have since put properties like Clue, Risk and Dungeons & Dragons.
Even more exciting for tabletop fans, earlier this year in February during an investor presentation Hasbro Identified Wizards of the Coast as a key pillar to growth. The company identified three major pillars – Consumer Products, including toys and games; Wizards of the Coast (Wizards) and Digital Gaming; and Entertainment. Goldner at the time said, “The integrated and assembled value of consumer products, Wizards and digital gaming, and entertainment is how we unlock the next level of return for our business and for our stakeholders.”
It will be interesting to see how temporary this move is and if the changes will affect the course that Hasbro has decided to take over the past 2 years.