Universal Brand Development has announced the appointments of five industry veterans to lead its consumer products business in EMEA territories as part of a strategic move to drive international growth and shift to direct management of its consumer products division.
The key appointments are a part of a structural shift to aggressively grow Universal’s Consumer Products business abroad and expand the Studio’s global franchises. Kathrin Brandhorst, Virginie Kleinclaus, Karen Argos, Mariella Almasio, Jean-Francois Auquier join the previously announced, Hannah Mungo, as Country Directors for Universal Brand Development’s international regions, including Germany, France, Iberia, Italy, Benelux, the U.K. and Ireland, respectively. The newly formed team will report to Jonathan Baker, Vice President, EMEA Consumer Products, Universal Brand Development.
“Building a robust leadership team is a crucial element for our international group as we look to forge new opportunities for business expansion across Universal’s ever growing portfolio,” commented Marc Low, senior vice president, International Consumer Products, Universal Brand Development. “We’re thrilled to welcome a strong team of seasoned experts as we form a more integrated approach for our EMEA territories and continue to establish the Universal brand as a global leader.”
Kathrin Brandhorst has been appointed as Country Director for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Based in Munich, Brandhorst will be responsible for driving growth and leading the Consumer Products team within her territory, as well as serving Germany’s agent, Super RTL, responsible for the DreamWorks portfolio. In addition, Karen Argos has been named Country Director for Spain and Portugal, where she will spearhead the business unit in Iberia. Argos joins the team after 15 years at The Walt Disney Company Iberia, where she was responsible for the Softlines division.
Mariella Almasio has been appointed Country Director Italy. Almasio has extensive industry background, serving in various roles within Disney Consumer Products based in Milan, where she contributed to the business growth of the Fashion and Home lines.
As head of the Benelux region, Jean-Francois Auquier has been named Country Director Benelux. Prior to his appointment, Auquier was responsible for managing the DreamWorks agents within the France and Benelux region for DreamWorks Consumer Products.