Expands Leadership Team as Company Reports Record Year and Continues Strategic Evolution
ST. LOUIS, March 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) announces Julia Fitzgerald as the new Chief Marketing Officer, as the company continues to execute its multi-year strategy. Ms. Fitzgerald will be a member of Build-A-Bear's senior leadership team, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer and highlighting the company's continued commitment to delivering meaningful consumer engagement and experiences with the goal of further driving profitable growth through the strategic evolution of the company and monetization of the powerful brand equity.
Build-A-Bear Expands Leadership Team as Company Reports Record Year and Continues Strategic Evolution
Ms. Fitzgerald brings more than 20 years of experience in creating and implementing marketing strategy, communications and brand development with a proven track record of driving digital transformations, and results. She has held critical marketing roles in the areas of retail, toys, juvenile products, childhood education, and non-profit, with senior level positions at Sylvan Learning, Sears, VTech, Hallmark, and most recently serving as the Chief Marketing Officer at the American Lung Association. She will lead Build-A-Bear's focus on brand communications, integrated marketing, public relations, and creative services, while integrating the company's cause marketing efforts in conjunction with the Build-A-Bear Foundation, the company's 501(c)3 organization.
Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Over the last few years, we have been building new ways to drive profitable growth as a digital, multi-channel, diversified, site-based entertainment and experience company. As we continue to celebrate 25 years of 'adding a little more heart to life' we have strong momentum with two record breaking years in a row. Expanding the leadership team to include this critical and strategic role will allow us to continue to build upon the special and lasting relationships we create with our guests and consumers."
"As we look forward to our next quarter century, our consumer base has expanded beyond kids with 40% of sales to teens and adults, our footprint has evolved beyond malls to tourist and hospitality areas, and our categories have extended beyond plush to include gifting, collectibles, gaming and entertainment. At this juncture, it is more critical than ever for Build-A-Bear to create impactful and diversified communications and content, effectively delivered across a wide array of touchpoints to a variety of consumers. We do this by leveraging access to our in-store marketing, first party contacts, social media and public relations to drive awareness and sales. With over 10 billion media impressions generated annually, Build-A-Bear has reached iconic status providing even more opportunity and desire for consumer connectivity. We welcome Julia and her knowledge, experience and passion to further integrate and elevate our efforts to drive value across the company through our evolved marketing and communications strategy," concluded Ms. John.
Ms. Fitzgerald joins a talented group of driven and seasoned executives, many of whom have played an instrumental part in strategically evolving the company and delivering the most profitable year in the company's history in fiscal 2022, on the heels of the previous most profitable year in fiscal 2021. The executive leadership team also includes:
- Jenn Kretchmar, Chief Digital and Merchandising Officer
- Chris Hurt, Chief Operations Officer
- Voin Todorovic, Chief Financial Officer
- Eric Fencl, Chief Administrative Officer
- Roz Johnson, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer
- Dorrie Krueger, Chief Strategy Officer
- Dara Meath, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer
Separately, also joining the leadership team in a consultative role is Lisa Licht, who will be focused on expanding and driving value for the brand and the company across the areas of entertainment, licensing, corporate partnerships and long-range strategy. Ms. Licht is a high-impact entertainment, licensing and toy industry veteran who is a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and was most recently the CMO of Live Nation Concerts, and held senior executive positions at Yahoo!, Hasbro, Fox Entertainment and Mattel.
Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to "add a little more heart to life" appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own "furry friends" to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar experience locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on buildabear.com including its online "Bear-Builder", the animated "Bear Builder 3D Workshop" and its age-gated, adult-focused "Bear Cave". In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company's mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. posted total revenue of $467.9 million in fiscal 2022. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of buildabear.com
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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop
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