Andy Mooney, former chairman of Disney Consumer Products, has joined Outfit7 as an adviser to grow the company’s mobile apps biz, which includes its popular “Talking Friends” app and characters.
Move recalls how former Marvel Studios topper David Maisel joined “Angry Birds” creator Rovio to turn the game into a larger franchise.
“Much like Walt Disney himself, we create lovable characters with incredible global acclaim, and our ‘Talking Friends’ characters have potential for limitless growth — from films to books to music,” said Narry Singh, chief business guru of Outfit7. “We are honored to have Andy join our team.”
Company, based in Limassol, Cyprus, hopes to use Mooney’s experience to grow the “Talking Friends” characters through licensing and publishing, retail and brand integration deals. There are 14 characters in the “Talking Friends” collection including Talking Tom Cat, Talking Ben and Talking Gina the Giraffe that interact with the user when poked, tickled and played with on mobile touch-screen devices.
The “Talking Friends” characters have been downloaded more than 300 million times and reached more than 90 million monthly active users worldwide less than two years after the app’s launch. The company averages 25 million downloads per month, with more than 500,000 videos uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and sent by email.
Under Mooney’s leadership, Disney Consumer Products revamped Disney’s licensing business, overhauled its Disney Stores and opened Disney English Language Learning Centers in mainland China, creating new growth opportunities for the company. He also grew Disney’s publishing division and launched the company’s successful Disney Princess and Fairies lines.
Before Disney, Mooney spent 20 years at Nike. As chief marketing officer there he developed the company’s “Just Do It” campaign. He also managed the company’s footwear and apparel divisions and founded Nike’s equipment division.
“I have been very impressed with the global reach and appeal of the ‘Talking Friends’ characters,” Mooney said. “Outfit7 has cracked two of the toughest challenges in any business — creating products users love and building a unique global distribution network. It takes the right combination of ingredients to create brands beloved by consumers worldwide, and I believe the ‘Talking Friends’ characters have those ingredients.”