Robinson will set up a new London office for the company which was formed late last year as a joint venture between Andy Heyward’s A Squared Entertainment and Tata Elxsi, the technology arm of Indian conglom the Tata group. A2E2 will be in Cannes for MipTV next month notably touting a new series of Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club in which the Oracle of Omaha teaches kids about business with guest stars like Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal and Serena Williams. The group’s motto is that it’s dedicated to creating “content with a purpose.” See the full release:
(March 15, 2012–Beverly Hills, CA) – Today A Squared Elxsi Entertainment LLC (A2E2), a joint venture between A Squared Entertainment and Tata Elxsi Ltd, announces the appointment of Paul Robinson as President, A Squared Elxsi International. The former KidsCo CEO and Co-Founder, and Walt Disney Company Senior Vice President of International Television, will establish a new London office with responsibility for content distribution in all formats, content acquisitions, consumer products and the continued international expansion of the company.
Paul joins a seasoned team of executives including Co-Presidents Andy and Amy Heyward, COO Greg Payne and CFO Harish Seth. The group is dedicated to producing “content with a purpose” that is as enriching as it is entertaining for kids. A2E2 is focused on producing transmedia original entertainment, acquiring new properties and being at the forefront of meeting customer and consumer needs that embrace today’s digital distribution opportunities.
“I can think of no other executive as talented and knowledgeable, (or as tall!) as Paul Robinson” said Andy Heyward, A2E2 Founder and Co-President. “We have ambitious plans to expand A2E2 internationally and no one is more qualified to lead this growth than Paul with his proven track record of success.”
During more than 15 years as an executive in the worldwide kids television market, Paul was most recently responsible for creating and building KidsCo, the global TV network for kids that he expanded into nearly 100 territories in 18 languages. As Senior Vice President of Disney/ABC Television he was responsible for global programming strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide as well as founding and expanding the Toon Disney and Playhouse Disney Channels internationally. Paul was also Managing Director for Walt Disney TV broadcasting and production in the UK.
“A2E2 is perfectly positioned to provide world class content to customers and licensees in today’s rapidly developing digital media industry. I will be leading our growth into international markets.” said Paul.
Paul will be responsible for the international expansion of A2E2’s growing portfolio of brands, including original productions as well as new acquisitions. The group will be showcasing a new series of 26, 30-minute episodes of Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club at the upcoming MIPTV conference in Cannes. In this new animated TV series, co-produced with Xing Xing Digital, kids learn about business through adventures with Buffett, and surprise guests such as Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal and Serena Williams to name a few. The fun, and informative series focuses on real-life situations any kid might face and helps to provide the tools necessary to make wise decisions in their lives. In addition to the 26 TV episodes and 26 shorts, an in-school curriculum has been developed to bring the lessons of Secret Millionaires Club into classroom with fun activities and competitions. In the U.S., the “Learn & Earn” promotion engaged more than 100,000 classrooms last year and finalists, grades 3-6, will be flown to Omaha to meet Mr. Buffett to present him with their business ideas.
“Secret Millionaires Club isn’t about reading a balance sheet or about investing money,” says Executive Producer Heyward. “It’s about engaging stories that also teach kids good habits, with some interesting real life celebrity mentors adding to the fun.”
In addition to original productions, A2E2 also manages international brands like Build-A-Bear Workshop and is helping to expand the company into entertainment and licensed products, extending the brand outside of its 400 stores worldwide.
“Kids love Build-A-Bear all over the world,” said Paul. “We are eager to create new ways for kids to have fun with Build-a-Bear with new toys, digital products, entertainment, an infant line and more.”