Analyst Note| Jaime M. Katz, CFA |
Just two days after notifying investors that narrow-moat Hasbro’s CEO Brian Goldner would take a medical leave of absence, the company followed with a report that he had succumbed to the cancer that had returned in 2020. Goldner had run the company for more than a decade, strategically growing the traditional toy business into an entertainment and content powerhouse, bolting on brands like Power Rangers, Peppa Pig, and PJ Masks. Preparations for continuity were already in place given the decision to step back, with Rich Stoddart, the lead independent director, announced as interim CEO on Oct. 10. Stoddart has been on Hasbro's board since 2014, holding leadership roles at both InnerWorkings (marketing company) and Leo Burnett Worldwide (advertising agency), bringing solid management experience to the helm. In turn, Edward Philip has moved into the lead independent director role to ensure prudence.