Bruce Crain will take over the reins from Gatto immediately. He will also serve as president and as a member of the board of directors.
His most recent position was with the multi-channel home décor and gift product firm, Blyth, where he spent 10 years.
Michael Zimmerman, chairman of the firm’s board of directors, commented, "We would like to thank Andy for the leadership and industry expertise he brought to Russ Berrie. The board of directors and management team wish Andy the best as he retires from his distinguished industry career.
"We are excited that Bruce is joining Russ Berrie as CEO, president and a member of the Board. We believe he will be an excellent leader as we embark on a new chapter in Russ Berrie's ongoing business evolution that we anticipate will be marked by further growth for the Russ brand and continued expansion in the highly attractive infant and juvenile market. Bruce has significant experience in building global businesses, capturing synergies and developing management teams.”
Crain said: "In the past few years, Russ Berrie has successfully strengthened its business by further penetrating the infant and juvenile sector and restructuring its gift business. I am very pleased to be joining Russ Berrie at this important juncture in its transformation, as the Company is poised to continue building on its brand strength and multiple channels of distribution.
“In particular, I look forward to further developing the design- led market leadership positions of all three businesses in close partnership with their global suppliers and retailers. I am also pleased to join the Board as we continue identifying additional strategic opportunities and creating long- term value for the Company's shareholders."