Former Anki Executive Blake Hennon Joins Learn and Play Leader Osmo to Grow New Play Movement
Leader in children’s education and entertainment hires Blake Hennon as VP of Distribution to oversee the company’s strategic product expansion that bridges physical and digital worlds
Osmo, the award-winning company changing the way children play and learn, today announces the addition of Blake Hennon as Vice President of Distribution. The expansion of Osmo’s leadership team follows a recent $24 million in funding from Mattel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Collab+Sesame, Shea Ventures and existing investors Accel, Upfront Ventures and K9 Ventures. Now, with the addition of Hennon, a kid-tech veteran with a strong background in building and growing entertainment brands, Osmo is primed to bring its new play movement to new heights.
With more than a decade of experience, Hennon is a seasoned executive in the entertainment space having most recently led North American sales for Anki, the company behind the Cozmo robot. Before that, Hennon held marketing and sales roles at Activision Blizzard and Warner Brothers. Hennon graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.
“Over the last three years, Osmo has grown from crowdfunding to Apple Store,” said Pramod Sharma, Osmo’s CEO and co-founder. “Now, as we focus on expanding our new play movement, it’s critical that we bring on key players like Blake, who understand and are committed to the kind of experience we want to give families and kids.”
At Osmo, Hennon will lead the company’s effort to streamline packaging and inventory control across its broad spectrum of retail partners that include Best Buy, Target, Amazon and Apple’s retail store.
“It’s clear that the future of playing and learning is a hybrid landscape that combines the digital and physical worlds - not one that’s exclusively one or the other,” observed Hennon. “Pramod’s team has embraced that vision to the degree that one day kids may discover what they want to be when they grow up because of the experiences they’ve had with Osmo.”
Hennon’s hire comes on the heels of other notable additions to Osmo’s executive ranks. Anne Lyons Johnston recently joined as Creative Director after heading GoldiBlox’s brand team, while Google’s former director of Machine Intelligence, Srikanth Rajagopalan, came aboard as COO and Guillaume Poncin joined as Vice President of Engineering from Google.
Osmo launched in 2014 as the first hands-on play experience that went beyond digital screens, unlocking unlimited possibilities of real-world play with three experiences, Words, Tangrams, and Newton. Leveraging its proprietary Reflective AI technology, Osmo quickly expanded to creativity, entrepreneurial and STEM-focused experiences like Masterpiece, Numbers, Coding, Monster and Pizza Co and became the go-to medium of play and learning across hundreds of thousands of households and schools globally. Its unique approach to play has been lauded by the industry, winning Time’s Best Inventions, the Parents Choice Award and most recently was named one of 2017’s most innovative companies by Fast Company.
To learn more about Osmo, visit playosmo.com.
Osmo is the first brand from Tangible Play, a company founded in 2013 by former Google engineers Pramod Sharma and Jerome Scholler. By utilizing Tangible Play’s proprietary Reflective Artificial Intelligence, Osmo is a new play movement based on critical thinking, reading, math, coding and art that is not only fun, but also a rich learning experience for children aged five to 12.
Osmo was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions, is a Parent’s Choice award recipient, won the prestigious Oppenheim Platinum award and is a 2016 finalist for Toy of the Year.
Sold in more than 50 countries, Osmo is delivered via four international distribution centers and has been embraced in more than 22,000 schools. Tangible Play Inc. is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.
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