John Harper has been named Non-Executive Chairman od Golden Bear, taking over from co-founder John Hales, who is to retire after 40 years at the helm.
Harper is the former Hasbro veteran who was president of Hasbro Europe before taking early retirement in 2012. Since stepping down, Harper set up his own consultancy and has taken a hands-on role in mentoring founders and senior executives of now-established toy companies in the UK, helping to steer them to success in the UK and overseas.
He is also a former TnP magazine columnist and frequent contributor. In 2013, Harper was given the BTHA’s Outstanding Contribution award, which recognises individuals who go above and beyond to leave a positive, lasting mark on the UK toy industry.
In his new role, “John will work with the senior team at Golden Bear to bring a new approach to the business to ensure the company achieves significant growth over the next three to five years,” says John Hales, who remains the majority shareholder of the company and will stay on as a director.
“The toy industry is going through many changes and it is time I retired and introduce a new pair of eyes. I have now seen over 50 Toy Fairs and I have enjoyed every minute of this very invigorating business. However, nothing is forever, and it is time for me to step down. I wish John and the senior team at Golden Bear every success in the years ahead.”
Barry Hughes, MD of Golden Bear, adds: “John Hales is a toy industry icon and leaves an incredible legacy at Golden Bear and many, many fond memories. Everyone at the company wishes John a long and happy retirement. The senior team is very excited and enthused about John Harper joining us as Non-Executive Chairman, and we look forward to working with him to drive Golden Bear to new heights.”
Harper takes his position as Non-Executive Chairman with immediate effect.