Gawne named WildBrain CFO
November 8, 2023
WildBrain, a specialist in kids’ and family entertainment, has announced senior leadership changes and a streamlined business structure under a focused strategy designed to optimise its existing 360° IP management expertise and drive the growth of key WildBrain and partner franchises across its core capabilities of Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Global Licensing.
As part of these changes, Nick Gawne has joined WildBrain as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately, bringing over 20 years’ experience in finance, operations and business development in the media space with a focus on kids’ and family IP, including almost 15 years with eOne. A Chartered Professional Accountant, Gawne was most recently Executive Vice President and General Manager at eOne for three years following the acquisition of eOne by Hasbro. In that role he oversaw international teams in finance, HR and communications as well as three operating units across location-based entertainment, app publishing and animation.
Prior to the Hasbro acquisition, Gawne was Chief Operating Officer, Family and Brands, at eOne, working on production, content distribution and licensing for such franchises as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. He was also responsible for revenue streams for digital (including AVoD, YouTube, social and paid media), online and gaming (app publishing), location-based entertainment and music. Preceding this, he held numerous senior finance and business development roles in eOne’s UK business, including UK film distribution and international home video distribution. Earlier in his career, Gawne held roles with KPMG and NM Rothschild & Sons’ TMT (telecoms, media and technology) M&A team in London.
Based in Toronto, Gawne reports to WildBrain President and CEO, Josh Scherba. He succeeds Aaron Ames, who will continue in an advisory capacity to ensure a seamless transition.
Additionally, WildBrain has realigned its senior management team and business under its core capabilities of Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Global Licensing, as detailed below, to focus on fully unlocking the significant growth potential for key proprietary brands, including Peanuts, Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake, as well as key partner brands.
“In the evolving landscape of kids’ and family entertainment, WildBrain is in a position of leadership as the only independent company with a comprehensive, 360-degree suite of in-house expertise across Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Global Licensing,” said Scherba. “As we continue our strategic shift to focus our business on key franchises that can generate the greatest returns from these integrated capabilities, Nick’s deep experience in finance and operations for kids’ IP is an ideal fit for WildBrain. With our strong leadership team, I’m confident this new, simplified structure will supercharge our plans to focus on the growth of key owned IP, such as Peanuts, Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake, alongside key partnership brands.”
Gawne stated: “I’m delighted to be joining the WildBrain team, as I’ve long admired the company’s capabilities and IP portfolio. I look forward to working with Josh as well as the senior management and finance teams across the global organisation to help accelerate the growth of our brands and business and to drive value for shareholders.”
Scherba continued: “I’d like to also thank Aaron for his leadership, dedication and years of service to WildBrain. Aaron has been a great business partner and a passionate champion of our Company. His contributions have been invaluable in shaping our strategic path forward and repositioning WildBrain for continued growth. We look forward to continuing to benefit from his expertise and knowledge as an advisor as we move through Fiscal 2024.”
Ames commented: “I’ve greatly enjoyed working with the people across WildBrain’s global organisation to help build the Company into the global leader it is today. I have every confidence in the future of WildBrain, and I look forward to continuing in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition and the continued success of the Company.”