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Toy and entertainment giant Hasbro names Chris Cocks as CEO

Hasbro, the owner of toy and entertainment brands including Monopoly, Play-Doh, Dungeons & Dragons and My Little Pony, has appointed Chris Cocks as its new CEO, effective 25 February 2022.
Source: Pexels

Cocks currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division, a key global player in tabletop and digital gaming. Cocks will take over for interim CEO Rich Stoddart, who held the position after the passing of Hasbro’s longtime CEO Brian Goldner in October. Stoddart, who has served as a Hasbro independent director since 2014, will become chair of the board, effective 25 February as well.

Big shoes to fill

Bloomberg points out that Cocks has big shoes to fill. During his tenure, Goldner transitioned Hasbro from a more traditional toymaker towards the new areas of TV, film and gaming, which included its 2019 acquisition of Entertainment One (eOne), the studio behind Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. Under his direction, the company also partnered with movie studios to introduce film versions of Hasbro's toy brands such as G.I. Joe and Battleship.

Tracy Leinbach, current chair of the board, said of Cocks's appointment: “In Chris, we have chosen a leader uniquely positioned to execute and evolve Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint strategy while continuing to generate growth and deliver strong shareholder returns. Chris’s extensive omnichannel experience and proven track record make him the ideal leader for Hasbro as it continues to become the world’s leading play and entertainment company.”

Cocks commented: “Hasbro has amazing brands, gifted storytellers and unique entertainment assets, and I am humbled to step into the position of CEO at this important time and to build on the strong foundation Brian created. Our consumer products, gaming and entertainment teams are the best and most creative in the business and have shown such incredible resilience. I look forward to working with our highly-experienced senior management team as we continue to reimagine play and entertainment and deliver experiences to families and fans, of all ages, around the world.”

Wizards of the Coast success

Cocks has served as president and COO of Wizards of the Coast since 2016, when he joined Hasbro from Microsoft. Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, offers games and entertainment under renowned brands such as Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons and Duel Masters. Under Cocks, Wizards of the Coast has focused on cooperative game play, expanding new digital initiatives and creating a robust workforce of back-end developers, digital designers, 3D artists and producers. Under Cocks’s leadership, revenue at Wizards of the Coast has more than doubled, surpassing $1bn in 2021.

During his 14 years at Microsoft, Cocks led a global sales and technical engagement team as vice president, OEM Technical Sales and served in product management and marketing leadership positions at MSN and Xbox Games, where he worked on hit franchises like Halo and Fable.

Stoddart said: “Having known Chris for years and working more closely with him these last several months, I have no doubt that he will be an extraordinary leader for the next phase of Hasbro’s journey. A storyteller and gamer at heart, Chris innately understands how to create and nurture brands to drive fan and consumer connection across channels. He is a highly strategic leader, with the vision, skills and experience to unlock our Brand Blueprint for supercharged growth.”

Hasbro expects to name a new president for Wizards of the Coast in the coming weeks.

New president and COO

In addition, Hasbro also announced the appointment of longtime leader Eric Nyman as president and chief operating officer, effective 25 February 2022. In this new role, Nyman will oversee global business, operational and foundational platform investments; continue to lead Hasbro’s overall consumer licensing strategy and strategic partnerships; and oversee Hasbro’s global supply chain, directing the strategy for a next-generation consumer-direct distribution platform.

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