Marvel has hired Bruno Maglione away from Universal Studios, where he was Managing Director and Senior VP of Universal Studios Consumer Products, and made him President of Marvel International -- a newly created entity whose purpose will be to develop the company's overall presence, business operations, and profile in key international markets. This hire reflects the fact that Marvel is increasingly becoming a licensing powerhouse that derives most of its revenues from licensing its stable of characters, not from publishing illustrated narratives of their adventures. While Marvel's licensing has grown by leaps and bounds in the U.S., international revenues only account for a paltry 5% of Marvel's gross earnings. Maglione, who handled Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for Universal, supervised the highly successful European licensing program for Universal's The Hulk, and managed to recruit 150 licensees. In his new position at Marvel Maglione will be based in London and will report to Allen Lipson, Marvel's CEO for all activities other than Consumer Products where Mr. Maglione will report to Tim Rothwell, Marvel's recently appointed President of Worldwide Consumer Products.
It was Rothwell who, during Marvel's most recent conference call with Wall Street analysts (see 'Marvel's Profits Soar'), noted that foreign revenues only accounted for 5% of Marvel's total -- and that international income could be raised to 25-30%, marking the international arena as the area with the most potential for quick growth. Clearly Marvel, which is also planning to open an office in Tokyo, is focusing on developing the 'low-hanging fruit' on the international side of its business, a strategy that is reflected in the hiring of Maglione.