The CEO of Hasbro - the toy and games giant that publishes Monopoly and Jenga, as well as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons via its Wizards of the Coast division - has passed away.
Brian Goldner died two days after going on medical leave, the company announced on October 12th. Goldner was previously diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and had been receiving medical treatment since. A cause of death was not given. Goldner was 58.
Hasbro board member and marketing executive Rich Stoddart had recently replaced Goldner as interim CEO for the company as part of Goldner’s medical leave.
Goldner joined Hasbro in 2000, shortly after its acquisition of Wizards of the Coast in 1999, before becoming CEO in 2008 and chairman of the board in 2015. Under his leadership, the company saw record success for Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and more - both MTG and Monopoly saw their “biggest years ever” in 2020 - with its biggest franchises increasingly expanding into the realms of television, movies and video games. A Dungeons & Dragons movie, live-action D&D series and Magic: The Gathering Netflix series are all currently in production, with a Risk television adaptation revealed to be in development earlier this year.
“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,” Hasbro said of Goldner in a statement. “The culmination of his pioneering strategy was the 2019 acquisition of independent entertainment studio eOne.”
As well as family board games such as Jenga, Operation and Connect 4, Hasbro owns major toy franchises including Transformers, My Little Pony and GI Joe. The company also produces toys for prominent franchises including Star Wars and Marvel.
Market research provider Euromonitor International estimates that Hasbro is the largest company in the Games and Puzzles market, which is predicted to cross $12bn in value during 2021.