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Golden Bear welcomes John Harper as non exec chairman

Move comes as John Hales announces intention to retire as chairman of the toy company.

Golden Bear has confirmed the appointment of well-known and respected toy industry exec John Harper as its non-executive chairman.

The news comes as John Hales – co-founder and long-time chairman of the toy company – has decided to retire after 40 years at the helm. He remains the major shareholder and will remain a director of the company.

John Harper (pictured) will be well known to many in the industry, having spent many years with Hasbro. Before taking early retirement, he held the role of president of Hasbro Europe. He subsequently formed a consultancy business and has been a mentor to a number of toy companies.

“John Harper will work with the senior team at Golden Bear to bring a new approach to the business to ensure the company achieves significant growth over the next three to five years,” commented John Hales. “The toy industry is going through many changes and it is time I retired and introduce a new pair of eyes.

“I have now seen over 50 Toy Fairs and I have enjoyed every minute of this very invigorating business. However, nothing is forever, and it is time for me to step down. I wish John and the senior team at Golden Bear every success in the years ahead.”

Barry Hughes, md of Golden Bear, added: “John Hales is a toy industry icon and leaves an incredible legacy at Golden Bear and many, many fond memories. Everyone at the company wishes John a long and happy retirement.

“The senior team is very excited and enthused about John Harper joining us as non-executive chairman, and we look forward to working with him to drive Golden Bear to new heights.”

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