Toy maker Hasbro announced Tuesday that its longtime CEO Brian Goldner died just two days after his medical suspension.
Goldner, 58, has been CEO since 2008. He joined the company in 2000 and became Chairman of the Hasbro Board of Directors in 2015. Goldner also served as a director on the board of ViacomCBS.
Rich Stoddart, most recently Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, was named interim CEO when Goldner went on medical leave.
“Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro since joining the company more than two decades ago,” Stoddart said in a statement. “As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the gaming and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world.”
In August 2020, Goldner announced that he had been receiving medical treatment for cancer since 2014.
While at Hasbro, he successfully expanded the business beyond toys and games to include television, films and digital games. Goldner’s tenure was marked by a focus on leveraging the company’s brands across the entertainment spectrum.
“Under Mr. Goldner’s leadership, Hasbro has grown from a manufacturing company to a manager of a robust portfolio of over 1,700 brands,” wrote Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at Jefferies, in a research note released on Sunday.
In 2007 he was executive producer on Transformers, a film that turned Hasbro into a character-based multimedia company. He has produced more than a dozen film and television titles, including three GI Joe films and a My Little Pony feature film.
Most recently, in 2019, he pioneered the $ 3.8 billion acquisition of Entertainment One by Hasbro, the Toronto-based studio best known for Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.
“In times of extreme volatility in the toy industry, Mr. Goldner stayed on course and motivated the global team to work towards higher growth, higher margins and stronger ROI,” wrote Wissink.
Since taking over the reins in May 2008, Goldner has helped Hasbro stock jump more than 155% from $ 34.43 per share to $ 88.05 per share.
Goldner and his wife Barbara were also active in the local Rhode Island community where Hasbro is located. After the death of her son Brandon Due to an overdose, the couple sought legal and community-based solutions to the growing opioid crisis. In addition to his wife, Goldner leaves a daughter behind.
Read Hasbro’s full press release here.
WATCH: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner appears on CNBC, July 26, 2021