Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner dies two days after going on medical leave

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In this 2008 file photo, Brian Goldner stands next to some toy figures at Hasbro’s headquarters, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island  (AP)
In this 2008 file photo, Brian Goldner stands next to some toy figures at Hasbro’s headquarters, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (AP)

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has died, two days after he went on medical leave.

While the company did not give a cause of death, Goldner, who served as the CEO of Hasbro since 2008, disclosed last August that he had been undergoing cancer treatment for six years.

The 58-year-old joined Hasbro in 2000 and was responsible for transforming the American multinational conglomerate from a toy and board game company to an entertainment force.

“He expanded the company beyond toys and games into television, movies, digital gaming and beyond,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

In 2019, under Goldner, the company acquired Canadian entertainment company Entertainment One, responsible for producing animated shows such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.

Goldner served as executive producer on the successful 2007 Transformers film adaptation, which was credited with expanding Hasbro into a character-based multimedia company. He reprised his role as executive producer for 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Marc Rosenberg, a toy consultant who worked as a marketing executive at Hasbro about 15 years ago, said Goldner was always interested in telling a story about toys and pulled out brands such as My Little Pony, transformers, and Littlest Pet Shop.

“His idea was to take brands that had been sitting dormant and reimagine them,” Mr Rosenberg told the Associated Press. “He always said you have to have a story arc, whether it is toys or movies.”

Goldner also served on the board of directors of Viacom CBS Inc. Acknowledging his contribution, Shari Redstone, the non-executive chair of Viacom CBS, said his “guidance and leadership played a key role not only in the combination of Viacom and CBS but in the execution of the vision that has significantly shaped the company.”

Hasbro also announced that Rich Stoddart will take over as the company’s interim CEO.

“Since joining the company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro,” Mr Stoddart said in a statement. “As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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