Genius Brands International has named industry veteran Jeff Shapiro is vice president of retail development. The announcement was made by Genius Brands’ SVP of global consumer products, Lloyd Mintz, to whom he will report.
Shapiro has held positions at Warner Bros. Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Company. He will now work closely with Mintz to build retail partnerships and programmes for each of the company’s brands, including Rainbow Rangers and Llama Llama.
Additionally, strategic retail initiatives will be implemented for the relaunch of the award-winning Baby Genius brand, as well as Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, and other brands in development.
“Jeff brings a breadth of knowledge and wealth of experience in the licensing, merchandising and retail business that is unparalleled, working on such brands as Harry Potter, Batman, DC Comics, Marvel, LEGO, The Simpsons, Strawberry Shortcake, and Scooby-Doo, among others,” said Mintz.
“We are fortunate to have an executive of his caliber to drive our retail programs as we begin launching our flagship properties, Rainbow Rangers and Llama Llama, into the marketplace in 2019 and 2020.”
Shapiro added: “I have a lot of respect for Lloyd’s expertise as well as the many successes that Andy has had over his impressive career.
“I am genuinely thrilled with the growth opportunity Genius Brands represents as I work with a stellar team to develop and execute the retail launches for these highly-anticipated properties.”
Shapiro joins Genius Brands from Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he served for over six years as a director of sales for the studio’s major brands, managing marketing and sales initiatives with high-profile accounts, including Target, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sears, Kmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Party City, Game Stop, Dollar General, PetSmart, Michaels, and Zulily.
He began his career at The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for 12 years across four company divisions focusing on executing promotional campaigns, brand management, and national product launches for Disney TV programmes, theme parks and live tours.
Following The Walt Disney Company, Shapiro held executive positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, and Cookie Jar Entertainment.