Genius Brands appoints Kerry Phelan to role of EVP and GM of global franchise management

Genius Brand International has appointed the 30 year consumer branding executive, Kerry Phelan to the newly created role of executive vice president and general manager of global franchise management.

In her new role, the former DreamWorks and Pixar executive will report to both Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO, and Harold Chizick, president of global content sales, marketing, and consumer products.

Phelan boasts an illustrious career in the entertainment space. After she successfully launched the Star Wars brand at LEGO Systems Inc, Phelan was recruited directly to Lucasfilm Ltd where she led the global consumer products and promotional licensing business for the multi-billion dollar Star Wars franchise in over 60 countries worldwide.

From there, she joined Pixar Animation Studios, reporting to Steve Jobs where she launched, in concert with Disney Consumer Products, the original Cars consumer products programme. Following Pixar, Phelan spent seven years at DreamWorks Animation as head of consumer products and licensing, driving the development of franchise management plans for the studio’s film and television properties, including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and more.

At DreamWorks, she managed the retail consumer products business and doubled the consumer products revenue in just three years. Most recently, she served as President of Global Franchise Management at Lionsgate Entertainment, where under her leadership, the studio created brand extensions spanning location-based and live entertainment venues, consumer products, licensed merchandise, brand partnerships and an array of promotional ventures for such blockbuster franchises as The Hunger Games and Twilight.

In her new role at Genius Brands, Phelan will be responsible for global management of the Company’s existing IP across licensing, merchandising, retail and promotions, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, Shaq’s Garage, Stan Lee Universe, and Rainbow Rangers, as well as properties currently in development.

“Kerry’s pedigree and reputation in entertainment branding is unparalleled as she has driven the global revenue streams of some of the most lucrative franchises in history,” said Chizick.

“In the coming year, we have multiple properties launching into the global retail marketplace, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, which just premiered on Kartoon Channel!, as well as Shaq’s Garage and Stan Lee Universe plus more categories coming to market around Rainbow Rangers.

“Kerry’s leadership and strategic guidance will be instrumental in driving the growth of our brands around the world.  She is a dream executive to have on board to help us achieve our long-term goals.”

Phelan said: “The majority of my career has been spent building properties into global franchises, specifically in the children’s space. Having had a peek at the coming pipeline, I am excited about the future at Genius Brands and the opportunity to build bigger brand ecosystems around their properties.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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