Ken Yamamoto, COO of Sanrio, Inc, has announced key executive appointments in retail and branding divisions. Craig Takiguchi joins the company as Vice President of Retail Business Development. Promotions of current Sanrio employees include Jill Cook to Director of Retail Business Development and Stephanie Simpson to Director of Retail Merchandising. Dave Marchi has also been promoted to Vice President of Brand Management & Marketing. All appointments are effective immediately.
"Sanrio is dedicated and focused at driving our retail business and evolving our brand," says Ken Yamamoto, who was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Sanrio, Inc. in July 2015. "These appointments bring expertise, passion and experience to Sanrio as we continue to develop our retail presence and expand our business ventures."
In his role as Vice President, Retail Business Development, Craig Takiguchi will be responsible for implementing new business strategies with strategic partners and strengthening relationships with key retail accounts. Mr. Takiguchi is a successful entrepreneur and management executive with extensive experience in consumer brands, franchising and international development. Before joining Sanrio, Mr. Takiguchi was Vice President, Brand Management at Yogurtland. Prior to that he was CEO of Muginoho International, the parent company of Beard Papa’s Sweets Café, and has held executive level positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, PepsiCo and The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Takiguchi will report to Ken Yamamato.
Jill Cook, formerly Soft Lines Director for Sanrio licensing, has transitioned to Mr. Takiguchi’s team, where she will serve as Director of Retail Business Development. In this role, Ms. Cook will focus on strategically expanding Sanrio’s retail business partnerships. She brings over 10 years of licensing and retail experience from companies including Mattel, IMG, and Marvel. Ms. Cook will report to Mr. Takiguchi.
Stephanie Simpson has been promoted to Director of Retail Merchandising, where she will focus on specialty retail merchandising initiatives and continued development of Sanrio retail stores. Ms. Simpson has been with Sanrio since 2014, bringing previous visual merchandising experience from Forever 21, Love Culture, Bebe and Wet Seal. Ms. Simpson will report to Dave Marchi.
Dave Marchi has been promoted to Vice President, Brand Management and Marketing. Mr. Marchi will continue to oversee the evolution and expansion of the brand through experiential activations and collaboration programs, as well as the management of Sanrio’s public relations and marketing initiatives. He joined Sanrio in 2001 as a Consumer Research Analyst and transitioned to Brand Management and Marketing in 2010. Mr. Marchi will continue to report to Jill Koch, Senior Vice President, Brand Management, Marketing & Creative.
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty, who is celebrating her 40th Anniversary this year. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru and Keroppi, Sanrio was founded on the 'small gift, big smile' philosophy - that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 80 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.
Media requests: Orsi Public Relations
Dyann Hawkins/Racine Diaz (323)874-4073