Saban Brands has named Janet Hsu as its new chief executive officer, filling the shoes of former president Elie Dekel, who stepped down from the company July 8.
Hsu, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Sanrio, will take on the new Saban role Aug. 17.
Dekel, who helped launch Saban Brands in 2010, announced he was stepping down from the company earlier this month to pursue other opportunities.
Hsu will be Saban Brands’ first-ever CEO, responsible for overseeing the company’s portfolio of global entertainment and lifestyle properties, as well as taking part in the acquisition of additional brands and building new IP.
During her time at Sanrio, Hsu helped to grow the company across multiple channels and reinvigorate its direction. She also worked transform and modernize Sanrio with innovative marketing strategies and led the company’s expansion and diversification of new retail, licensing and entertainment partnerships. Hsu talked with License! Global about Sanrio and the company's flagship brand, Hello Kitty, celebrated as its 40th anniversary last year in the October 2014 cover story "Hello Kitty Celebrates 40 Years."
“Janet is a visionary leader with a strong track record for driving global business expansion and leading innovative strategies,” says Adam Chesnoff, president and chief operating officer, Saban Capital Group, to whom Hsu will report. “Janet has been responsible for some of the world’s largest and most successful brands. Her extensive and diverse background across licensing, merchandising and retail has led to many major accomplishments. We look forward to working closely with her at Saban Brands to continue to grow the company and its expanding portfolio of brands.”
Saban Brands, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, has grown from $145 million in retail sales of licensed merchandise in 2010 to $850 million in 2014, according the License! Global's exclusive Top 150 Global Licensors report.
Hsu joins Saban Brands as the company continues to grow its two newly formed business units–Saban Brands Entertainment Group and Saban Brands Lifestyle Group. Saban Brands Entertainment Group currently includes brands such as Power Rangers, Popples, Cirque du Soleil–Luna Petunia, La Banda, Emojiville, Julius Jr. and others in development. Saban Brands Lifestyle Group is focused on growing the company's portfolio in the consumer, fashion and lifestyle space, with current brands including Paul Frank, Macbeth, Mambo and Piping Hot.
Dekel and a number of other senior Saban executives discussed the future of the company as it looks to the next five years and beyond in the May cover story of License! Global, "Power Surge."