The Thomas & Friends line of business will be comprised of three divisions: a New York-based Thomas Americas headed by Pam Westman (focusing on North and South America); a London-based Thomas EMEA headed by Rick Glankler (for the U.K., Europe, Middle East and Africa) and a Hong Kong-based Thomas Asia headed by Antonio Huab (focusing on Asia, including Australia and Japan). Westman, Glankler and Huab will all report to Sangeeta Desai, HIT's chief operating officer.
The HIT global brands business will be managed from London by Jon Owen as one global division. Owen (who also reports to Desai) will have local staff based in New York, London and Hong Kong. HIT's finance, legal, HR and IT groups will remain centralized staff units supporting both lines of business.
As part of these changes Peter Byrne, executive vice president of international consumer products and home entertainment, will leave the company. Byrne joined HIT in September 2005, following the acquisition of the company by Apax Partners.
"Peter is one of the most accomplished executives in the licensing industry and has served HIT both loyally and well," says Dunn. "We will miss him and wish this talented individual well in his next endeavor."
In a further executive change, Gary Krakower, senior vice president of U.S. licensing and live events, has decided to leave HIT Entertainment and pursue another opportunity.
Last month, HIT Entertainment reported that revenues increased to $249.2 million from $238.4 million in the 12 months to July 31, 2009. In March, HIT reached an agreement with lenders to waive a scheduled covenant test on its $579 million debt. HIT and lenders had reached a "forbearance agreement," which waives testing of the entertainment company's financial covenants.
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