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Tributes paid after CEO and 20-year Hasbro veteran Brian Goldner dies aged 58

Brian Goldner, chairman and CEO of US-based toy and media giant Hasbro, has died at the age of 58.

Brian Goldner

News of Goldner’s passing, which comes just days after it was revealed he was taking a medical leave of absence to receive cancer treatment, broke on Tuesday with a statement from Hasbro.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our extraordinary leader and dear friend Brian Goldner,” read a statement issued by Hasbro. “Brian will be deeply missed by the entire Hasbro family.”

Goldner, who joined Hasbro in 2000, rose to CEO by 2008 and was appointed as chairman of the board in 2015. During his tenure, he led Hasbro’s expansion into film, TV and digital gaming with a number of transformative deals, most notably its acquisition of Entertainment One (eOne) for around US$3.8bn in 2019.

The deal brought together eOne brands like Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and Ricky Zoom with Hasbro’s brand portfolio, which includes Monopoly, My Little Pony, GI Joe, Transformers and Power Rangers.

Richard S Stoddart has been named interim CEO.

“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,” said Stoddart in a statement.

“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.”

Goldner also served on the board of directors of ViacomCBS and helped to guide the transaction that brought Viacom and CBS together.

Shari Redstone, non-executive chair for ViacomCBS’s board of directors, said Goldner’s “guidance and leadership played a key role not only in the combination of Viacom and CBS but in the execution of the vision that has significantly shaped the company and will take us well into the future.”

Edward M Philip, lead independent director of Hasbro’s board of directors, added: “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 20 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.”


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