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Pitaro Named Chairman Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media

James Pitaro, currently co-chair of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president, Disney Interactive, has been named chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, it was announced by Thomas Staggs, COO, The Walt Disney Company.

Pitaro assumes additional responsibilities following DCPI co-chair Leslie Ferraro’s departure from the company to pursue marketing and consumer engagement projects, with Disney as her first client. Pitaro will continue to report directly to Staggs and Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger.

In addition to his role as co-chair of DCPI, Pitaro served as president of Disney Interactive, leading the company’s multi-platform games business and overseeing a suite of web and app experiences. At Disney Interactive, Pitaro has led the company’s social media efforts across all platforms and spearheaded digital video projects that extend Disney storylines. Additionally, he has established Disney Interactive as a center of digital excellence within The Walt Disney Company.

Prior to joining Disney Interactive in 2010, Pitaro served as vice-president of Yahoo Media, where he was responsible for guiding the strategic growth and continued development of Yahoo’s media properties.

He was also vice-president and general manager of Yahoo Sports, and vice-president and head of business affairs for Yahoo Music. Prior to joining Yahoo, he was vice-president of business affairs for LAUNCH Media, Inc. and practiced law at several New York firms.

Kilpin, Personsette Named to Build-A-Bear Board

Build-A-Bear Workshop announced this morning that Tim Kilpin and Sarah Personette have been appointed to the company’s board of directors.

Kilpin will serve as a member of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Compensation and Development Committee. Personette will serve as a member of the Compensation and Development Committee and as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. With the appointment of Kilpin and Personette, the Build-A-Bear Workshop board of directors now includes nine members, seven of whom are deemed independent by the board under New York Stock Exchange rules and other applicable regulations. As previously announced, James Gould will not stand for re-election. Accordingly, the size of the board will be reduced to eight immediately prior to the company’s annual meeting of stockholders in May.

Kilpin most recently served as president/chief commercial officer for Mattel, Inc., where he directed all aspects of the company’s global sales and marketing operations. Previously, he was executive vice-president of the boys & girls global brands for Mattel. He also served as executive vice-president at The Walt Disney Company. He has served as board member of the Toy Industry Association, Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, the Make-A-Wish International Foundation, and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

Personette, vice-president of Facebook’s global business marketing team, is responsible for providing clients with innovative and effective marketing solutions for their businesses. Prior to rejoining Facebook in 2014, she led Universal McCann’s agency operations in the United States. Before joining Universal McCann, she built and led Facebook’s global agency team. In addition to being a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, she serves on the boards of Advertising Women of New York, Northwestern University’s Regional Board, the Reisenbach Foundation, the Angelight Foundation, and the Social Impact for the Ad Council.

Iconix Brand Group Hires John Haugh as CEO

The board of directors of Iconix Brand Group, Inc., announced that John Haugh has been appointed president and a member of the board of directors effective yesterday, February 23, 2016. Haugh will become CEO of Iconix on April 1, 2016. At that time, interim CEO Peter Cuneo will transition to executive chairman of the Iconix Board.

Haugh is a proven executive with more than 30 years of experience leading premier global brands and retail businesses at highly respected companies, including Luxottica S.p.A., Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., and Mars, Inc. In his role as president of Sun, Luxury, and Retail Services for Luxottica Retail, N.A., he led more than 14,000 Sunglass Hut associates; managed the Luxottica and Macy’s, Inc., license operations business; directed the luxury optical business; and managed real estate, design, and construction for Luxottica Retail, N.A. Haugh was president of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Prior to that, he served as president of the Mars Retail Group for Mars, Inc. Haugh previously held senior marketing, strategy, and sales leadership roles with Payless ShoeSource, Inc., Universal Studios, Inc., and General Mills, Inc. He is a member of the board of directors of Aeropostale, Inc., and serves on the board of trustees for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Wilkov Joins PlayFusion

PlayFusion Ltd., a game developer and publisher of connected, interactive entertainment, announced the appointment of Willie Wilkov to chief marketing officer.

Wilkov will lead the planning, development, and execution of acquisition, engagement, and monetization marketing, oversee product development and marketing, including channel strategy and licensee management, develop an integrated content strategy and partnership network and build the PlayFusion brand among game players, investors, employees, and partners.

Prior to joining PlayFusion, Wilkov was CMO for TOMY International, a role he assumed in 2014 after having risen from vice-president, marketing communications (2009) to senior vice-president, marketing communications and branding (2013). Before joining TOMY, Wilkov held roles at the Sun-Times News Group, Draft, and Leo Burnett.