Obituary: Brian Goldner

Published on: 13th October 2021

Toy World is sad to report that the Hasbro chairman and CEO has passed away, shortly after announcing medical leave this week.

In a statement last year, Brian said he had been under continued medical treatment following his cancer diagnosis in 2014. Board member Rich Stoddart has replaced him on an interim basis.

A company statement reads: “It is with deep and profound sadness that Hasbro announces the passing of beloved leader and long-time chairman and CEO, Brian D. Goldner.”

Rich Stoddart commented: “Since joining the company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro. As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world. His visionary leadership, kindness and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter and entire family.”

Brian joined Hasbro in 2000 and was appointed CEO in 2008, then chairman of the Board in 2015. Hasbro’s company statement went on to say: “Through his tireless work ethic and unwavering focus, he expanded the company beyond toys and games into television, movies, digital gaming and beyond, to ensure Hasbro’s iconic brands reached every consumer”

Brian served as executive producer on 2007′s Transformers film, a movie that was credited with broadening Hasbro into a character-based, multimedia company. He then went on to produce more than a dozen titles across movies and TV including three G.I. Joe films and a My Little Pony feature.

In 2019, he pioneered Hasbro’s $3.8b acquisition of Entertainment One. Since his appointment as chairman in 2008, Brian has helped boost Hasbro’s stock more than 155% and has been credited with steering the company forward through times of extreme volatility in the toy industry, achieving higher growth, higher margins and stronger capital returns.

He also served on the board of directors of ViacomCBS Inc. Shari Redstone, non-executive chair of ViacomCBS added: “Brian’s guidance and leadership played a key role not only in the combination of Viacom and CBS but in the execution of the vision that has significantly shaped the company.”

Edward M. Philip, lead independent director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, said: “Brian’s passing is a tremendous loss for Hasbro and the world. Brian was universally admired and respected in the industry, and throughout his over twenty years at Hasbro, his inspiring leadership and exuberance left an indelible mark on everything and everyone he touched. A mentor and friend to so many, his passion and creativity took Hasbro to new heights. Our love and thoughts are with his wife, daughter, and family during this extraordinarily sad time.”

Brian is survived by his wife and daughter. He and his wife Barbara were passionate advocates for improving systems of care for vulnerable members of society.


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