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Global Markets with Alan Hassenfeld

The Trials and Tribulations of Mr. Potato Head

A Conversation about Global Markets with Alan Hassenfeld
November 13, 2009

Alan Hassenfeld, chair of the Executive Committee at Hasbro, provided students, faculty and staff at Brandeis International Business School (IBS) with his global perspective on a wide array of engaging topics during a recent talk on campus. The spirited discussion ranged from sharing leadership principles in running one of the world’s leading consumer brands to exploring the growing importance of China in the global economy.

Hassenfeld gave a behind-the-scenes look at Hasbro’s efforts to promote its popular brands through creation and distribution of toys, games and licensed products while the firm was under his leadership. Hasbro markets many of the world’s most popular brand-name games and toys, including Monopoly, GI Joe, Mr. Potato Head, Tonka, Trivial Pursuit, Life and Clue. He explored the impact that emerging digital platforms are having on the children’s and family leisure-time market and spoke of the firm’s upcoming international expansion efforts. 

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In explaining his leadership philosophy, the former chair of the Board and chief executive officer of Hasbro recommended, “Don’t ask of your people something you are not willing to do yourself.”  He continued, “Surround yourself with people brighter than you in their given fields.”

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From left to right: Michael M. Appell, MA'79, Executive Director of Development and External Affairs; Bruce R. Magid, Dean of the Brandeis International Business School (IBS); Brenda Anderson, Senior Lecturer; and Alan Hassenfeld, chair of the Executive Committee at Hasbro, Inc.

Hassenfeld is a member of the IBS Board of Overseers and an active, prominent philanthropist. He travels frequently to foreign nations promoting and supporting a number of important causes, including efforts to improve corporate governance transparency and to establish international child safety standards for toys.

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