Brian Goldner, the chief executive largely responsible for helping turn Hasbro from a toy company into an entertainment powerhouse, has passed away. The company announced the news on Tuesday without disclosing a cause of death, though he had previously told shareholders he was actively receiving treatment for prostate cancer. He was first diagnosed in 2014.
He was 58.
"Since joining the Company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro," interim Hasbro CEO Rich Stoddart said in a statement released by the company. "As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian's work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world. His visionary leadership, kindness and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter and entire family."
Goldner first joined Hasbro in 2000 and rose the ranks before assuming CEO duties in 2008. Under his purview, Hasbro's hottest brands from GI Joe to My Little Pony and Transformers were transformed into multimedia powerhouses. Goldner earned credits as a producer on many of the projects.
"Brian's passing is a tremendous loss for Hasbro and the world," Hasbro Board of Directors member Edward M. Philip added in the statement. "Brian was universally admired and respected in the industry, and throughout his over twenty years at Hasbro, his inspiring leadership and exuberance left an indelible mark on everything and everyone he touched. A mentor and friend to so many, his passion and creativity took Hasbro to new heights. Our love and thoughts are with his wife, daughter, and family during this extraordinarily sad time."
Cover photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images