Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Penguin Ventures Appoints New Senior Category Manager


Penguin Ventures, the licensing team within Penguin Random House Children’s, has hired Zoe Smith to be the senior category manager for U.K. softlines.

In her new role, Smith will be responsible for the U.K. softlines business across the Ventures’ portfolio of literary children’s brands, including The World of Peter Rabbit, The World of the Snowman, Flower Fairies and Spot. She will report to David Sprei, commercial director at Penguin Ventures.

Sprei said: “Zoe has a wealth of experience and is a softlines specialist, respected by peers and licensees, and knows the U.K. preschool market incredibly well. Across her previous licensing and retail roles, Zoe has developed a phenomenal grasp of the category and joins Ventures to drive further growth across new and existing partners for such an important area of the business. I’m delighted that Zoe arrives ahead of BLE, and I’m excited for everyone to meet her there in her new role.”

Smith said: “I am thrilled to be joining the team at Penguin Ventures and to be working on such beloved, timeless brands. I have huge affection for these brands both professionally and personally, and I cannot wait to work with the amazing licensing partners, drawing on my previous experience, to further expand the already well-established business in the U.K.”

About Chelsea Regan

Chelsea Regan is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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