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Mattel hires ex-Warner Bros. exec for sales

Kids-logo-460_2TThomas and Friendshe content arm of US toy giant Mattel has hired a former Warner Bros. business development exec to become its VP, global content distribution and strategy.

Justin Richardson takes on the new post to oversee distribution of content related at Mattel Creations to Thomas & Friends, Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl, Ever After High and Monster High.

Working out of Mattel Creations’ London base, he will work with distribution teams in US, Asia, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Richardson worked at Warner Bros. between 2000 and 2006, and joined Mattel as a consultant six months ago, according to a rep.

More recently, he worked for Japanese telco giant NTT Docomo, and has led engineering and sales teams at Universal Pictures, Google and Sky.

His hire comes at the same time as that of Cheryl Gresham, who joins from Taco Bell as VP, global media and marketing integration.

Both hires come six months after Mattel, which owns Hit Entertainment, launched Mattel Creations as a centralised production hub for film, TV and digital content.

Mattel’s chief content officer, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, runs the unit, and will next week deliver a keynote speech in Cannes at MIPCOM.

“Mattel Creations has developed significantly since we announced the new centralised division at MIPTV earlier this year, and I am thrilled to welcome these leaders as we enter the next stage of our evolution and enter a very busy MIPCOM,” said Balsam-Schwaber.

“Cheryl and Justin are discerning, innovative executives who understand the enormous global potential of Mattel’s content portfolio , and I am so pleased to introduce them as meaningful additions to the team at such an exciting time for our business.”