Golden Bear has confirmed the appointment of John Harper as Non-Executive Chairman of the pre-school specialist with immediate effect, replacing John Hales, the company’s co-founder and chairman who, after 40 years, has decided to retire.
Hales will remain the major shareholder and will remain a director of the company.
His successor, Harper is a well known industry personality, having been with Hasbro for many years before himself taking early retirement from the role of president of Hasbro Europe.
He subsequently formed a consultancy business and has been a mentor to a number of well-known toy companies.
John Hales said: “John Harper will work with the senior team at Golden Bear to bring a new approach to the business to ensure the company achieves significant growth over the next three to five years. The toy industry is going through many changes and it is time I retired and introduce a new pair of eyes.
“I have now seen over 50 Toy Fairs and I have enjoyed every minute of this very invigorating business. However, nothing is forever, and it is time for me to step down. I wish John and the senior team at Golden Bear every success in the years ahead.”
Barry Hughes, managing director of Golden Bear, added: “John Hales is a toy industry icon and leaves an incredible legacy at Golden Bear and many, many fond memories. Everyone at the company wishes John a long and happy retirement. The Senior Team is very excited and enthused about John Harper joining us as Non-Executive Chairman, and we look forward to working with him to drive Golden Bear to new heights.”