Board of Directors

This section includes the Management Profiles of the Board of Directors of The Character Group plc.


Richard King

Non-Executive Chairman

Age - 73

Richard King has extensive experience in the toy industry and has been involved in importing consumer products from the Far East since 1969. He established the original business of The Character Group plc jointly with Mr Kissane and Mr Shah in 1991 and was until February 2016 the Group’s Executive Chairman.

Richard is responsible for ensuring the quality and sound approach to high standards of corporate governance and the effectiveness of the Board as a working group. He is Chairman of the Corporate Governance and Risk Management Committee and of the Nominations Committee and a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees.


Kiran Shah

Joint Managing Director and Group Finance Director

Age - 64

Kiran Shah is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. After initially working in a private accountancy practice, he moved into industry and, since 1978, has been involved extensively in the toy industry, notably in his role in jointly heading up a successful management buyout of Merit Toys Limited in 1981 and its subsequent sale to Bluebird Toys plc in 1988. He jointly established the original business of The Character Group plc with Mr King and Mr Kissane in April 1991.

Kiran is jointly responsible with Mr Diver for the setting and implementation of the group’s corporate and competitive strategy and managing its commercial affairs and is responsible for the Group’s financial management, accounting, tax and legal affairs.


Jonathan Diver

Joint Managing Director

Age - 54

Jon Diver joined the business in September 1991 from Rainbow Toys Limited, where he was Senior Marketing Executive. He became Group Marketing Director in August 1994 and has developed close working relationships with the Group’s suppliers, including Licensors and Manufacturers. He has played a key role in determining and delivering the group’s diversified product development strategy. Jon is a past chairman of the British Toy & Hobby Association.

Jon is jointly responsibility with Mr Shah for the setting and implementation of the Group’s corporate and competitive strategy and managing its commercial affairs.


Joseph Kissane

Managing Director - Character Options Limited

Age - 66

Joe Kissane has considerable sales expertise both at retail and supplier base in and outside the toy industry, gained over a period of over 40 years, notably with such companies as Nabisco, Lego and Tonka. He is one of the founders of the Group and is a senior committee member, charity secretary, trustee and past chairman of the Toy Industry’s leading children’s charity The Fence Club.

Joe has direct responsibility for the sales and operational management of the Group’s principal UK trading subsidiary Character Options Limited, including overseeing relations with customers.


Michael Hyde

Managing Director - Far East Operations

Age - 44

Mike Hyde joined the Company in 2005 and was appointed to the Main Board in 2011. Prior to joining Character, Mike spent a number of years working for Mattel Inc., the NASDAQ listed US toy designer and manufacturer, where he held a number of management positions, focusing on brand management, marketing and product development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Mandarin Chinese and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Mike has direct responsibility for the operational management of the Group’s Far East operations, including overseeing relations with factory suppliers.


Jeremiah Healy

Group Marketing Director

Age - 57

Jerry Healy joined Character Options Limited (the Group’s principal trading subsidiary) in 2004 as Head of Marketing; he was promoted to Marketing Director in 2006 and then became Group Marketing Director in February 2016.  He has a wealth of marketing experience gained within the toy industry; prior to joining the Group he worked with Hornby Hobbies, Matchbox and Mattel, both in the UK and Europe and also at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.  Jerry holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Business Studies.

Jerry is responsible for setting and managing the Group’s product and customer focused marketing plans.


David Harris

Non-Executive Director

Age - 68

David Harris was appointed to the Board in 2004; he has very broad financial experience gained over a 40 year career in both executive and non-executive capacities. He is currently a non-executive director of Manchester and London Investment Trust plc and F&C Managed Portfolio Trust plc, both of which are quoted companies on the London Stock Exchange. He is also a non-executive director of SDF Limited, a private film production company.

David is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and also a member of the Corporate Governance and Risk Management, Audit and Nominations Committees.


Clive Crouch

Non-Executive Director

Age - 66

Clive Crouch was appointed to the Board in February 2016.  His 35-year career in media has included senior roles within GMTV, a company he helped launch and position. From 1992 to 2007, he was GMTV’s Sales and Marketing Director. He attended The London Business School Senior Executive Programme in 2003. From 2007 he served as GMTV’s Chief Operating Officer until 2010, taking responsibility for the Channel’s License and Compliance to the Ofcom Broadcasting Codes.

He was a founder member of Think box, the ITV programme marketing company, and Clearcast, the quango that pre-clears all advertising copy for compliance to the advertising guidance codes. 

Clive now operates his own media consulting business and he remains actively involved in the toy industry, advising on such matters as regulatory, promotional activity and licensing.  He brings a wealth of relevant management and industry experience to the Board.

Clive is Chairman of the Audit Committee and also a member of the Corporate Governance and Risk Management, Remuneration and Nomination Committees.