Topps Hires Former TV Guide Boss as CEO

Ryan O’Hara will take the reins in a few weeks.

The Topps Company has hired Ryan O’Hara as president and chief executive officer.

O’Hara, who spent the last several years as president of TV Guide Network and, will assume the new role on March 1 after relocating his family from Los Angeles to New York.

“I am thrilled to take on this new role,” said O’Hara. “The ability to work with Michael Eisner and Madison Dearborn Partners on the evolution of Topps makes this an incredibly exciting opportunity. No brand had more of an impact on me when I was a kid than Topps, and I look forward to working with the entire Topps team to strengthen and grow this iconic company.”

O’Hara has been president at TV Guide since August of 2005.

“Ryan is an outstanding leader with a strong track record in media, sports, entertainment and confections,” said Michael Eisner, Chairman of Topps, who purchased the company with Madison Dearborn Partners in 2007. “That unique combination will help him drive growth in media and with interactive initiatives as well as continue to strengthen Topps’ core businesses. Ryan’s appointment will help Topps capture a greater share of consumers’ leisure time.”

O’Hara has led TV Guide’s business and growth strategy, overseeing all functional areas from programming to distribution to advertising sales. O’Hara previously led TV Guide-owned interactive horseracing network TVG, growing its revenue and distribution by a third.

Broadcasting & Cable magazine has called O’Hara “the consummate media executive,” pointing out that he has had “experience abroad, leadership roles in both programming and distribution, and a demonstrated devotion to both traditional and new media.”

Prior to TV Guide, O’Hara had experience across sports, confections and international – three key areas of Topps’ business – having served in various positions at BSkyB in London, Fox Sports Net and Nestle USA.

Departing CEO Scott Silverstein, who remains on the Board, has led Topps since Eisner and Madison Dearborn Partners purchased the company in October 2007.

“Scott has served The Topps Company tirelessly since joining as general counsel in 1993,” Eisner said. “We are extremely grateful for his outstanding leadership having successfully helped steer the company through the recent recession that proved so challenging for many companies. Topps has rebounded very strongly under Scott, and we appreciate his contributions.”