Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner dies, days after stepping down for health reasons

Two days after taking medical leave, Hasbro's long-serving Chief Executive Brian Goldner announced Tuesday that he had died.
Goldner, 58 years old, was serving as CEO since 2008. Goldner, 58, had been serving as CEO since 2008. Goldner was also a director on ViacomCBS' board.

Rich Stoddart was most recently the independent lead director on Hasbro's board. He was appointed interim CEO after Goldner went on medical leave.

Stoddart stated in a statement that Brian "has been Hasbro's heart and soul since joining it more than 20 years ago." "Brian is a charismatic, passionate leader in the entertainment and play industries. His work brings joy and laughter to families all over the globe."

Goldner revealed last August that he has been receiving ongoing medical treatment for his cancer since 2014.

He was able to grow the business beyond toys, games and into digital gaming, as well as movies and television. Goldner's tenure was marked with a focus on leveraging the company’s brands across entertainment.

In a Sunday research note, Stephanie Wissink (an analyst at Jefferies) wrote that Hasbro had transformed from a manufacturing business to a manager managing a portfolio of over 1,700 brands under Mr. Goldner.

He was the executive producer of "Transformers" in 2007. This film is credited with helping Hasbro become a multimedia company that is character-based. He produced more than a dozen films and TV shows, including three G.I. Joe movies. Joe films, and a My Little Pony movie.

He was the pioneer of Hasbro's acquisition of Entertainment One for $3.8 billion in 2019. Entertainment One is a Toronto-based studio best known for "PJ Masks" and "Peppa Pig".

Wissink stated that Mr. Goldner has been a constant pillar of the global team, despite periods of extreme volatility within the toy industry. He also encouraged them to push forward towards higher growth, stronger capital returns, higher margins and higher growth.

Goldner took over the reins of Hasbro in May 2008 and helped increase its stock by more than 155%, from $34.43 per Share to $88.05 per Share.

Goldner and Barbara Goldner were active in the Rhode Island community where Hasbro is situated. The couple sought community-based and legislative solutions to the opioid crisis after Brandon, their son, died from overdose. Goldner was survived by his wife and a daughter.

You can read the entire press release by Hasbro here.