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NBCUniversal Consumer Products group names legal affairs VP

BY CSA STAFF

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — The NBCUniversal Television, DVD,Music and Consumer Products Group announced that Ed Prince hasbeen promoted to VP business and legal affairs. Inaddition, Christopher Lucero and Drew Rowley have joined the departmentas directors of global licensing. The announcement was made by KimNiemi, SVPt.

"Ed has been an integral part of the growth our department hasexperienced over the past three years and we look forward to hiscontinued counsel and tapping into his keen business sense," said Niemi."I am also very pleased to add Chris and Drew, whose focus on sales andproduct development is essential as we continue to increase ourportfolio of shows and expand globally."

Prince, who joined the department in August 2007 as director, willcontinue to oversee business and legal affairs for the department,including contract preparation and negotiations, as well as compliance.Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Prince was associate counsel for theWriters Guild of America West, where he handled residuals, claims andrepresented CBS News and promotional writers in labor contractnegotiations. Prince also held positions with United Talent Agency andbegan his legal career as an associate at Christensen, Miller, Fink,Jacobs, Glaser, Weil and Shapiro LLP.

Lucero will be responsible for developing licenses worldwidefor NBCUniversal properties including Syfy, the Weather Channel, NBCNews, MSNBC, CNBC and classic NBC genre properties within the NBCU TVcatalogue. He joins NBCUniversal from Namco Networks America Inc.,where he was business development and licensing manager. While at NamcoNetworks, he negotiated licenses for mobile video games featuring NBCUproperties, The Wolfman and Despicable Me, as well as for TNA Wrestling,PACMAN and other arcade classics. Lucero has also held positions withKonami Digital Entertainment, where he was licensing and business development coordinator, with United Talent Agency, and with EnsembleEntertainment.

Rowley will have day-to-day oversight of television consumer productsbusiness for all current and past programming for NBC, USA Network andthe NBC Universal television catalogue. Rowley joins NBC Universal from20th Century Fox, where he was senior manager of international licensingand merchandising. While at Fox, he negotiated and executed nationalpromotions for "The Simpsons" and "24" with Kentucky Fried Chicken andKia Motors Canada. He also managed the company’s licensing business forCanada and Australia. Rowley originally joined Fox in August of 2004 asa coordinator of international licensing and merchandising. Rowley hasalso held positions with The Cimarron Group in Hollywood, where he was assistant account executive in advertising and with the University ofSouthern California, in their events office.

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DSW makes sales strides

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Label-lovers aside, designer shoes — even discounted designer shoes — are considered discretionary items by most consumers, and the fact that DSW had such a strong quarter is indeed a good sign that the middle-income consumer is feeling more confident about her economic situation.

DSW Inc. has announced net income of $18.5 million on net sales of $468.5 million for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, compared with net income of $13.4 million on net sales of $402.6 million for the quarter ended Jan. 30, 2010. Same-store sales increased 14.9% for the comparable period versus an increase of 12.9% last year.

Diluted earnings per share were 41 cents for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 compared with diluted earnings per share of 30 cents last year.

Net income was $107.6 million on net sales of $1.82 billion for the year ended Jan. 29, compared with net income of $54.7 million on net sales of $1.6 billion for the year ended Jan. 30, 2010. Same-store sales increased 13.2% for the comparable period versus an increase of 3.2% last year.

Diluted earnings per share were $2.40 for the year, compared with $1.23 for the same period last year, and within the updated guidance range of $2.38 to $2.42 provided on Feb. 8.

DSW said it estimates an annual comparable-store sales increase of 3% to 5% and annual diluted earnings per share of $2.60 to $2.75 for fiscal 2011, excluding any impact from the proposed merger with Retail Ventures.

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Kraft’s CFO exits; EVP operations to take helm

BY CSA STAFF

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods on Monday announced that its EVP and CFO, Timothy McLevish, will leave the company in mid-2011.

McLevish, who served as EVP and CFO for Kraft since 2007, will shift his CFO responsibilities to EVP operations David Brearton. Prior to his exit, McLevish will report the company’s first-quarter financial results.

McLevish was called "instrumental" in several transactions that helped boost Kraft’s portfolio, including the split-off of Post cereals, the sale of its North American frozen pizza business and the acquisition of Cadbury. "Tim has had a clear mandate to reshape the portfolio and our capital structure, which he accomplished with the highest quality results," said Kraft chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. "We will miss Tim’s perspective and commitment, but we respect his desire to take on new and different challenges."

Meanwhile, Kraft said it has initiated an external search to fill Brearton’s current role as EVP operations. Brearton joined the company in 1984 and has been a member of the Kraft executive team for the past six years.

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