Aardman reshapes its Executive Board with new hires and promotions

The position of Executive Commercial and Brand Director was established, along with internal promotions as part of the company's restructuring.

1 MAR 2024

Emma Hardie

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Emma Hardie, Commercial Director, Global Entertainment for BBC Studios, will join the British animation company Aardman in the newly created role of Executive Commercial and Brand Director. This role will see her lead the commercial exploitation and strategy for Aardman's brand portfolio, overseeing the strategy for financing, distribution, licensing, marketing, and long-term planning of the studio's animated intellectual property.

Hardie's career to date has seen her drive creative and commercial growth across TV, film, and digital. She first joined the BBC in 2016 as a Brand Director for BBC Earth and Factual, rising to take responsibility for BBC Studios' Global Entertainment strategy for unscripted and scripted worldwide. She has a track record of identifying and growing IP with international commercial potential, delivering significant new talent and content partnerships, and brand extensions on a global scale. These include BBC Studios' investments in Mothership TV and Mettlemouse Entertainment, a co-development partnership with Japan's Nippon TV, a hit app for Magnum Media's format The 1% Club for ITV, and exec producing BBC Studios' first Snapchat commission for "Planet Earth I "I & the "Blue Planet II mini-series."

Meanwhile, existing Executive Board members Sarah Cox and Daniel Efergan have both received promotions to Chief Creative Director and Executive Creative Director of Interactive & Innovation, respectively. Cox, a BAFTA-nominated director, first joined Aardman as Executive Creative Director in 2017 to oversee the development of a new slate of IP aimed at kids and family audiences across all platforms.

Efergan's promotion to Executive Creative Director of Interactive & Innovation will see him take on responsibility for ensuring that Aardman continues to innovate both technology and processes to underpin its creative storytelling in new and immersive ways while continuing to provide strategic direction and operational oversight of the studio's gaming and interactive business.

Sean Clarke, Managing Director of Aardman, gave a warm welcome to the executive"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Emma and announce these promotions. Our approach has always been to champion, nurture, and empower the brilliant talent that already exists at Aardman while bringing on board the best of the best from elsewhere across the entertainment industry. It allows us to capitalize on the decades of experience of our colleagues while also ensuring we continue to bring in fresh ideas and new and innovative thinking. Needless to say, we are delighted that our co-founder Peter Lord will continue to play a vital role both here at Aardman and across the wider animation world," commented.

Emma Hardie, Aardman's new Executive Commercial and Brand Director, praised the company effusively: "Aardman is an exceptional studio with an incredible history and place in the hearts of audiences worldwide. I am thrilled and honoured to be joining such a fantastic team, and look forward to bringing Aardman's much-loved characters and brands to fans and partners around the world," highlighted.