Brian Goldner, Hasbro CEO and ‘Transformers’ Producer, Dies at 58 Just Days After Taking Medical Leave

Goldner had been CEO since 2008

brian goldner hasbro
Photo: Getty

Brian Goldner, the chairman and CEO of Hasbro, has died. He was 58.

Goldner’s death comes two days after he had stepped away on medical leave. The cause of death was not given, though he disclosed last year he has been battling prostate cancer since 2014.

Rich Stoddart, Interim CEO, said “Since joining the Company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro. As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world. His visionary leadership, kindness, and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and entire family.”

Goldner joined Hasbro in 2000 and has been CEO since 2008 and chairman since 2015. He was also a producer on the live-action “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” films that were based on Hasbro’s toys. In 2019, Hasbro bought Entertainment One for $3.8 billion in cash, which added franchises like “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”

Edward M. Philip, Lead Independent Director of Hasbro’s Board of Directors, said “Brian’s passing is a tremendous loss for Hasbro and the world. Brian was universally admired and respected in the industry, and throughout his over twenty years at Hasbro, his inspiring leadership and exuberance left an indelible mark on everything and everyone he touched. A mentor and friend to so many, his passion and creativity took Hasbro to new heights. Our love and thoughts are with his wife, daughter, and family during this extraordinarily sad time.”

Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount and Nickelodeon, also paid his respects to Goldner on Tuesday.

“On behalf of everyone at Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, we are saddened by the news of Brian Goldner’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family. Brian was an incredible partner and collaborator with us on so many beloved franchise titles including ‘G.I. Joe’ and ‘Transformers,’ and he was a visionary leader in evolving Hasbro into a global content company. He will be sorely missed,” Robbins said.  

“Brian was an exceptionally dedicated member of our Board, whose guidance and leadership played a key role not only in the combination of Viacom and CBS but in the execution of the vision that has significantly shaped the company and will take us well into the future,” Viacom’s Shari Redstone said in a statement. “While I will always be grateful for the incredible contributions Brian made to this company, what we will all miss the most is his wisdom, his kindness, his commitment, and his friendship. He will always hold a special place in our hearts and he will be forever missed.”