Hallmark Cards Inc. on Tuesday announced a major reorganization that creates three distinct businesses that formerly comprised its North America organization. The three new, independently operated businesses are Hallmark Greetings, Hallmark Home and Gifts, and Hallmark Retail. Hallmark Greetings is the largest of the three units, a not surprising fact since greeting cards have been Hallmark’s main business lines since its founding.
Hallmark has 3,000 employees in the Kansas City area out of its 6,100 employees in the United States, and its 10,500 worldwide. The privately held company reported 2014 sales of $3.8 billion. As part of the changes, David Hall, formerly president of Hallmark North America, was promoted to president of the entire company. His brother, Don J. Hall Jr., continues to be Hallmark’s vice chairman and chief executive officer.Their father, Donald J. Hall, remains board chairman.
“For 50 years, we have viewed the most important parts of our enterprise as one big organization, Hallmark North America,” Don Hall Jr. said in the announcement. “But to enable focus, speed, accountability, decisiveness and greater impact in the marketplace, we must think of ourselves as distinct businesses.”
The new Hallmark Greetings business will be led by president, Mike Perry, who has been president and CEO of Crayola. The Greetings unit handles Hallmark cards, invitations and stationery products. Perry had been with Crayola since 2009. Before that, he served in several Hallmark leadership roles.
The new Hallmark Home and Gifts business will be led by president Keith Kotel, who has been vice president and general manager of Hallmark’s gift solutions operation. Before joining Hallmark in 2014, Kotel held executive positions in a division of Kids Brands and at Jo-Ann Stores. The Home and Gifts unit deals with Hallmark’s home decor products, picture frames, wedding and baby products and seasonal merchandise.
The new Hallmark Retail business will continue to be led by its president,
John X. Watson, who has been with Hallmark since April 2014. Watson’s previous positions included chairman and CEO of Edwin Watts Golf, president and CEO of Sunglass Hut, and executive vice president and chief operating officer of HSN, the Home Shopping Network. The Retail unit includes Hallmark’s Gold Crown and HMK stores and e-commerce.
The company said these officers will continue in their current roles: Bill Abott, president and CEO of Crown Media; Bill Lucas, president of Crown Center Redevelopment Corp.; Steven Wright and Homer Kay, co-presidents of Hallmark International.
The company is working to select a new president and CEO of Crayola.
Don Hall Jr. said all of the businesses “contribute a meaningful level of revenue and earnings for the company” and that the balance of the company’s portfolio made him optimistic about the future.
Hallmark has been on an aggressive reorganization path for several years that included consolidation of manufacturing and distribution sites and cost cutting that included staff downsizing.
The company did not provide staff distribution figures associated with the business realignments or revenue breakdowns expected for the new business units.