There are not a lot of toy companies that are big enough to have
advertising budgets and not be Hasbro or Mattel. So if you have
kids experience, here's your chance.
CA: LeapFrog Enterprises today announced the
appointment of current CEO William
Chiasson to Chairman of the Board and named industry
Barbour as the company's new CEO and as a member of the
Board of Directors. These changes will be effective as
of March 7,
"We are very excited that John is joining LeapFrog as CEO,"
said Bill Chiasson,
current Chief Executive Officer of LeapFrog. "John has a
25-year track record of building global consumer and internet
businesses in both traditional retail and direct-to-consumer
environments. He previously led the successful turnaround of
the Toys "R" Us U.S. and International divisions, and built its
online business, toysrus.com, into the number one global online
retailer of toys and games. John also served as President of
the GameHouse Division of RealNetworks, a leading, vertically
integrated and global casual video games business."
"Over the last several years, LeapFrog has created a robust
portfolio of innovative products, a leading brand that stands for
learning and fun, and a unique and strategic online platform that
allows us to engage directly with consumers. As we've built
these capabilities, we have also dramatically reduced our cost
structure and returned the Company to profitability for the first
time in five years.
"As we look to build upon this platform and generate sustained
profitable growth in the future, LeapFrog must respond even more
rapidly to evolving consumer product demands and fast changing
technology preferences. John's experience with leading
consumer product, content, and online companies will be critical to
helping us do this. His experience will also help us
strengthen and grow our global retail presence,"
"I am excited about my new role as CEO of LeapFrog,"
said John Barbour.
"The Company has an outstanding brand, a strong product
portfolio, and a bright future. I look forward to working
with Bill Chiasson,
the rest of the Board, and the entire LeapFrog team to build upon
the many pioneering successes of the past several years."
"I am honored to have been named Chairman of the Board,"
said Bill Chiasson.
"I joined LeapFrog over six years ago and I look forward to
providing continued leadership and strategic advice to John, our
Board, and my colleagues who have helped me strengthen and grow our
business and brand."
Barbour served as President of the GameHouse Division
of RealNetworks, Inc. from October
2008 to August 2010,
where he led the business to profitability.
2006 to October 2008,
Mr. Barbour served as the Managing Partner of Volta Capital, LLC, a
strategy and investment consulting firm where he assisted clients
with a wide variety of investment and strategic development
engagements. From 1999 to June 2006, Mr.
Barbour was employed by Toys "R" Us, Inc., a leading retailer of
children's toys and products. He served as President, Toys
"R" Us U.S. from August
2004 to June 2006,
where he was responsible for $5.5
billion of retail sales through approximately 600
stores across the U.S. and built the private brands business to
billion of annual sales. Prior to that, he served as
President, Toys "R" Us International and Chairman, Toys "R" Us
Japan from February
2002 to August 2004,
achieving three years of record sales and earnings growth.
From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Barbour served as President and Chief
Executive Officer of toysrus.com, a subsidiary of Toys "R" Us,
Inc., where he grew sales from $2
million in 1998 to $336
million in 2002. Mr. Barbour has also held senior
level positions with Hasbro, Inc., Russ
Berrie, Inc., and Universal Matchbox Group, Ltd. Mr.
Barbour holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry, with Honors, from
the University of
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. is a leading designer, developer, and
marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and
related proprietary content, dedicated to making learning effective
and engaging for all ages, at home and in schools, around the
world. The company was founded in 1995 and is based
California. LeapFrog has developed a family of learning
platforms that come to life with an extensive library of software
titles covering important subjects such as phonics, reading,
writing, math, music, geography, social studies, spelling,
vocabulary, and science. In addition, the company has created a
broad line of stand-alone educational products for children.
LeapFrog's award-winning products are available in five languages
at major retailers in more than 44 countries around the world and
in more than 100,000 classrooms across the United