HABA USA, a subsidiary of The HABA Family of Companies in Germany, has named Willie Wilkov its new CEO & Managing Director for North America. Wilkov will be responsible for accelerating growth of the core toys and games business while creating a sales and operations structure that will support and create synergies between the company’s other divisions including apparel, furniture, educational products, and more.
“HABA is known worldwide for long lasting quality in the areas of play, education, and practical items for everyday family life, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in terms of potential in North America,” said Willie Wilkov, the new CEO of HABA USA. “We have the upside of a start-up with the history, reputation, and financial stability of an 80-year-old family-owned business. It’s a unique opportunity with a very special company and I can’t wait to get started.”
“We’re thrilled to have Willie become part of our team,” said Lea Culliton, President of HABA USA. “Our market has seen significant growth this year and as the retail and consumer landscape changes, we welcome Willie’s strategic direction to help us take the next big step.”
Wilkov has spent the last decade driving digitalization in the toy and juvenile products industry for global companies. Prior to joining HABA, Wilkov was with TOMY International where he previously served as Chief Marketing Officer and most recently as Vice President of Digital Commerce. Throughout his career, he has worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands including Disney, M&M’s, John Deere, and Pokémon. Wilkov has also worked at two advertising agencies (Leo Burnett and Draft) along with client side experience at the Chicago Sun-Times Media Group and PlayFusion, a Cambridge UK-based start-up where he also served as Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of North America. Willie will continue to be based in the Greater Chicagoland area.