Genius Brands appointed licensing industry veteran Jeff Shapiro as vice-president of retail development. He will report directly toLloyd Mintz, Genius Brands’ senior vice-president of global consumer products.
Shapiro will work closely with Mintz to build retail partnerships and programs for each of the company’s brands. This includes Rainbow Rangers, airing on Nick Jr. in the U.S. and recently greenlit for season two with an upcoming U.S. retail launch and Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, available on Netflix with season two in production. Additionally, strategic retail initiatives will be implemented for the relaunch of the award-winning Baby Genius brand, as well as Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, and other brands in development.
Shapiro joins Genius Brands from Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he served for more than six years as a director of sales for the studio’s major brands. There, he managed marketing and sales initiatives with high-profile accounts including Target, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, Kmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Party City, Game Stop, Dollar General, PetSmart, Michaels, and Zulily. He began his career at The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for 12 years across four company divisions focusing on executing promotional campaigns, brand management, and national product launches for Disney television programs, theme parks, and live tours. Following The Walt Disney Company, Shapiro held executive positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, and Cookie Jar Entertainment.
“Jeff brings a breadth of knowledge and wealth of experience in the licensing, merchandising and retail business that is unparalleled, working on such brands as Harry Potter, Batman, DC Comics, Marvel, LEGO, The Simpsons, Strawberry Shortcake, and Scooby-Doo, among others,” said Mintz. “We are fortunate to have an executive of his caliber to drive our retail programs as we begin launching our flagship properties, Rainbow Rangers and Llama Llama, into the marketplace in 2019 and 2020.