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Lionsgate has hired Kerry Phelan, former head of consumer products and licensing for DreamWorks Animation, to the newly-created position of exec VP of global franchise management and strategic partnerships.

The hire comes as the studio focuses on exploiting its key franchises — “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.”

Phelan will report to Lionsgate Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen.

Phelan has been involved with the “Star Wars,” “Shrek” and Lego brands. Lionsgate noted that while at DreamWorks Animation, she significantly increased that studio’s consumer products revenue and expanded DreamWorks’ location-based entertainment operations into Singapore, Brazil, Australia and other international markets.

“With her track record of cultivating some of the biggest brands in motion picture history, Kerry is ideally qualified to develop and execute retail, merchandising and location-based entertainment initiatives for Lionsgate’s growing portfolio of franchises,” said Palen. “From Lego to ‘Star Wars’ and Pixar to DreamWorks, she has established herself as a master strategist who knows how to make global brands even bigger and more successful, and she will be an invaluable addition as we expand the palette of opportunities for our ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Divergent’ and other franchises.”

Prior to joining DreamWorks in 2007, Phelan was recruited by Pixar to set up the studio’s first global licensing and consumer products division and oversaw the launch of the “Cars” consumer products program. She also spent five years at Lucasfilm developing and managing the “Star Wars” consumer products operation and began her executive career in brand marketing for Lego Systems, where she helped the company grow the market penetration in U.S. households.