Hasbro Names Lionsgate’s Michael Burns to its Board

Michael R. Burns and J.J. Abrams

Toymaker Hasbro has elected Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns to its board as an independent director.

“Michael’s financial acumen and extensive operational experience in developing and distributing award-winning original content make him an excellent addition to Hasbro’s board of directors,” said Hasbro chairman Alfred J. Verrecchia in a statement. “We welcome him to the board and look forward to working with him as we execute our content-led branded play strategy and explore new opportunities to deliver content directly to consumers.”

Hasbro made the announcement Thursday.

“The media expertise that Michael brings to Hasbro and our board is invaluable, and we believe that he will make a tremendous addition to our already strong board of directors,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro president and chief executive officer.

Burns joined Lionsgate in 2000 and — with CEO Jon Feltheimer — has overseen its growth from a scrappy independent production company into a major studio with “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” franchises, along with TV series such as “Mad Men,” “Nurse Jackie” and “Orange Is the New Black.” It currently has a market capitalization of nearly $5 billion.

Hasbro has partnered with Paramount in launching the ‘Transformers’ and ‘G.I Joe’ film franchises and with Universal on “Ouija.” It’s developing a “My Little Pony” movie and a live-action adaptation of the animated series “Jem and the Holograms.”

Hasbro explored buying DreamWorks Animation recently but those talks ended on Nov. 14.

Other media executives on the Hasbro board include Hearst Ventures’ Kenneth Bronfin, Leo Burnett North America CEO Richard Stoddart, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. CEO Linda Zecher and former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi.

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