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Hasbro toy company taps Chris Cocks as CEO

Cocks, the president and head of Hasbro’s digital gaming division and Wizards of the Coast, will take over from interim CEO Rich Stoddart on Feb. 25

Signage is displayed on a Hasbro Inc. Twister brand game box in an arranged photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, July 21, 2018.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

PROVIDENCE — Nearly three months after beloved CEO Brian Goldner lost his battle with cancer, toy giant Hasbro has tapped a new leader.

Chris Cocks, the president and head of Hasbro’s digital gaming division and Wizards of the Coast, was promoted to CEO. Cocks will take over from interim CEO Rich Stoddart on Feb. 25, a company spokesperson said Wednesday.

Stoddart, a former marketing and advertising executive, became interim CEO when Goldner went on medical leave, just days before he died. Stoddart, who served as the company’s independent director since 2014, will become board chairman.

“Having known Chris for years and working more closely with him these last several months, I have no doubt that he will be an extraordinary leader for the next phase of Hasbro’s journey,” said Stoddart in a statement Wednesday. “A storyteller and gamer at heart, Chris innately understands how to create and nurture brands to drive fan and consumer connection across channels. He is a highly strategic leader, with the vision, skills and experience to unlock our Brand Blueprint for supercharged growth.”

Cocks joined Hasbro in 2016 after Greg Leeds, the former president of Wizards of the Coast, resigned. Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, offered games and entertainment under world-renowned brands such as Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Duel Masters.

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Under Cocks’s leadership, revenue at Wizards of the Coast more than doubled, surpassing $1 billion in 2021, according to financial reports.

“Hasbro has amazing brands, gifted storytellers and unique entertainment assets, and I am humbled to step into the position of CEO at this important time and to build on the strong foundation Brian created,” Cocks said in a statement.

A 2013 photo of Chris Cocks, the new CEO of Hasbro toy company. He will take over the Providence-based corporation on Feb. 25, 2022.Hasbro

Cocks came from Microsoft, where he served as the vice president of OEM Technical Sales, leading a global sales and technical engagement team. Prior to his tenure at Microsoft, Cocks served as vice president of educational games at LeapFrog. He led a “cross-discipline team to drive hardware planning, software design and development, marketing and channel management,” according to a Hasbro announcement at the time of his hiring.

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Cocks began his career in brand management at Proctor & Gamble and served in product management and marketing leadership positions in MSN and XBOX. His work spanned from projects that included franchises like Fable and Halo.

Tracy Leinbach, current chair of the company’s board, said Cocks’s appointment marks the culmination of an “extensive and thoughtful candidate review and selection” led by the board.

In Cocks, Leinbach said Hasbro has “chosen a leader uniquely positioned to execute and evolve Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint strategy while continuing to generate growth and deliver strong shareholder returns. Chris’s extensive omni-channel experience and proven track record make him the ideal leader for Hasbro as it continues to become the world’s leading play and entertainment company.”

A Hasbro spokesperson said they expect to name a new president for Wizards of the Coast in the coming weeks.

“Our consumer products, gaming and entertainment teams are the best and most creative in the business and have shown such incredible resilience,” said Cocks.

Also on Wednesday, the company announced that longtime leader Eric Nyman would be appointed president and COO. Nyman will oversee global business, operational, and foundational platform investments; continue to lead Hasbro’s overall consumer licensing strategy and strategic partnerships; and oversee Hasbro’s global supply chain, directing the strategy for a next-generation consumer direct distribution platform.

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Nyman joined Hasbro in 2003 where he has served as chief consumer officer and chief operating officer of Hasbro Consumer Products.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.