Grover, Big Bird and Cookie Monster will soon have a new boss.
Sesame Workshop’s Board of Trustees elected Steve Youngwood to take over as CEO of the nonprofit educational organization starting on January 1, 2021. He will replace Jeffrey D. Dunn, who will take on a new position as executive chairman. Sherrie Westin, president of of the company’s social impact and philanthropy division, will become president.
As chief operating officer, Youngwood has supervised a dramatic expansion of Sesame Workshop’s media business, and helped put the organization on more solid financial footing. The company, once focused on producing its flagship landmark children’s program, “Sesame Street, ” now works not only with PBS, which has aired that program for decades, but WarnerMedia, Apple and YouTube among others. Sesame Workshop has dramatically increased its production pipeline, and currently maintains several projects for HBO and HBO Max, including a ersatz late-night program featuring Elmo, and town halls for CNN. He has also led Sesame Workshop into schools, entertainment experiences and partnerships with advertisers. , Jeffrey D. Dunn, the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational and media organization that produces Sesame Street and other award-winning shows, today announced its plans for a leadership transition to begin on January 1, 2021.
Dunn, who has served as CEO since 2014, will advise Youngwood, Westin and the non-profit’s board during a six-month transition, and will retire from the organization on June 30, 2021
“Jeff Dunn has been an exceptional leader of Sesame Workshop, leading us through challenging times and leaving us stronger than we’ve ever been,” said Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder and Lifetime Honorary Trustee of Sesame Workshop, in a statement. “I am confident that Steve and Sherrie are the right team to carry us into the future and continue to deliver on our mission.”