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Jakks Pacific Reorganizes International, Licensing Divisions

Jakks Pacific announced a strategic reorganization that highlights the company’s growth initiatives.

“We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value,” says Stephen Berman, chairman and CEO at Jakks Pacific. “Jakks has been a top tier global toy manufacturer for over 20 years. We have exemplary design, marketing, operation, and sales teams and we have strong relationships with best-in-class licensors, retailers, and industry thought leaders. As the retail landscape and consumer behaviors continue to change, we are committed to evolve into one of the savviest, most nimble organizations in the Kids & Family consumer products and entertainment space.”

Dan Cooney Jr, Jakks Pacific’s senior vice-president of sales for Toys “R” Us and Amazon for the past 10 years, will assume additional responsibility for all of Jakks’ consumer products internationally as executive vice-president, international division. Cooney has played a critical role in optimizing the digital merchandising experience and modernized the forecasting process, which has resulted in double digit natural growth in the U.S. for the company. Cooney is a second generation marketing and sales executive with more than 20 years of toy industry experience.

Tara Hefter, who has served as Jakks’ senior vice-president of global licensing since 2010, has been named executive vice-president and general manager of Disguise, Jakks’ Halloween costume division. In her current role, Hefter has successfully directed the global licensing expansion of Jakks and Disguise, forging licensing, marketing, and retail partnerships with leading entertainment properties worldwide.

Virginia Reneau rejoins Jakks Pacific as vice-president of  global licensing. Reneau brings with her unparalleled experience in new business development, portfolio management, business affairs, and contract negotiations.

Carmine Russo, president, international division, and Joe Anton, president, Disguise, will retire this year after two long and successful careers. Both Russo and Anton will work closely with Cooney and Hefter, respectfully, to assure a smooth transition of responsibilities.