President and Chief Operating Officer of the Topps Company since April, 2013, Mr. Brandstaedter oversees the Company's valuable portfolio of assets including the leading sports and entertainment trading card company, a dominant kids confectionery business, the collection of wholly owned media properties and newly created or acquired digital businesses. Mr. Brandstaedter joined Topps in August 2009 as General Manager Global Confectionery responsible for worldwide Bazooka Candy Brands, the confectionery division of Topps, and led all aspects of marketing, product development, sales, finance and operations. Previously Mr. Brandstaedter worked in brand management roles at Kraft Foods and Nabisco, running various businesses in the Snacks and Confections categories. A native of New York, Mr. Brandstaedter has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
General Counsel of The Topps Company since July 2012. Mr. Thaler manages the legal department and oversees all legal matters for Topps, providing comprehensive counsel to all of Topps’ global business units. Prior to Topps, Mr. Thaler was General Counsel for Equinox Fitness and General Counsel at PRIMEDIA Inc. Mr. Thaler began his career as an associate in the M&A department at Shearman and Sterling LLP in New York and later as a corporate/securities associate at Greenberg Traurig, P.A. in Miami. Mr. Thaler has a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration from the University at Albany and a J.D. from Fordham University.
As Vice President and General Manager of Digital, Mr. Strauser oversees the strategic direction, development and production of Topps Digital Products, including the popular BUNT, KICK and HUDDLE mobile apps. Mr. Strauser joined The Topps Company in January of 2015. Prior to joining Topps, Mr. Strauser was a Co-Founder and served as COO of mobile and social games startup, Bee Cave Games. Previously he was a Studio General Manager with Zynga, where he led Zynga Poker and other games from the casino division. Mr. Strauser gained his start in digital entertainment and enjoyed a long career with Electronic Arts, where he led product development for Madden NFL Football, NCAA Football and other EA SPORTS games, last serving as an Executive Producer. Mr. Strauser holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The George Washington University.
Chief Financial Officer of The Topps Company, Mr. Mueller oversees all accounting and finance matters including reporting, tax compliance, cash management, planning and analysis. Mr. Mueller joined Topps in April 2014 from XO Group (NYSE: XOXO, formerly The Knot, Inc.). At XO Group he managed the public company financial reporting and operations including development of sales incentive plans, international expansion into China and long term financial planning. Mr. Mueller joined XO Group in September 2008 from Genius Products, Inc., where he was CFO. At Genius, Mr. Mueller was a thought partner with the CEO and successfully managed the transition with the company’s new partner, The Weinstein Company. Mr. Mueller brings extensive prior investment banking experience providing strategic financial advisory services on mergers, acquisitions and equity and debt offerings for entertainment and media clients. Mr. Mueller was a senior banker in media Investment banking for Jefferies & Company, Inc., Credit Suisse and Societe Generale. Mr. Mueller began his career in finance working for Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Mr. Mueller received a B.S. in Business from the University of Minnesota and earned a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Topps Sports & Entertainment
Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Sports & Entertainment since April 2011. Mr. Kruep is responsible for managing domestic sports and entertainment products including brand management, product development, editorial, operations, finance, sales and customer development. Prior to his role at Topps, Mr. Kruep worked with Jarden Corporation where he most recently served as Vice President & General Manager - Games, Arts & Crafts. Mr. Kruep managed a business comprised of The United States Playing Card Company and Loew-Cornell, LLC. Before joining Jarden in 2007, Mr. Kruep held several marketing positions with Sanford Brands, a Newell Rubbermaid company and spent several years with Tommy Armour Golf Company. Mr. Kruep has a BS in business administration from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Vice President and Group Managing Director - Topps Europe since October 2004. Mr. Rodman is responsible for all of Topps Sports & Entertainment business outside of the USA. Mr. Rodman joined the Company in 1995 with the acquisition of Merlin Publishing. Previously, Mr. Rodman was a board director of Merlin Publishing and Chairman of Merlin’s US-based subsidiary. Mr. Rodman also has experience as Chief Executive of Admiral sportswear, a global football (soccer) brand, and a founder and board director of its parent company, Warwick Sports & Leisure. Mr. Rodman founded his own sports marketing and promotions business which he subsequently sold, after he left Aston Villa FC where he was head of the club's commercial operations. Mr. Rodman began his marketing career at Nielsen and has a Bachelor’s degree from Keele University, England and a Master’s degree from Springfield College, Massachusetts.
Bazooka Candy Brands Confectionery
Vice President - General Manager Global Confectionery since March 2013. Mr. Jacobs is responsible for worldwide Bazooka Candy Brands, the confectionery division of Topps, and leads all aspects of marketing, product development, sales, finance and operations. Prior to joining Topps, Mr. Jacobs was with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, most recently as Senior Vice President of Marketing. During his time at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mr. Jacobs led marketing for the company’s Carbonated Soft Drink Portfolio which includes brands such as Dr Pepper, 7UP, Sunkist, Crush, Canada Dry, Schweppes, and A&W. Prior to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mr. Jacobs worked in brand management roles at Unilever in the Home and Personal Care Division, and at Nabisco in the Life Savers Candy Division. Mr. Jacobs grew up in New Jersey, and has a B.A. from The George Washington University and an M.B.A. from The University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Topps Digital Services
Vice President of Finance and Operations since July, 2011 and and most recently General Manager of Topps Digital Services since January, 2014. Topps Digital Services was created when Topps acquired GMG Entertainment in 2011. Mr. Mickeal has spent the majority of his professional career at the intersection of digital entertainment, media, technology and consumers. Prior to the acquisition by Topps, Mr. Mickeal was the Chief Operating Officer of GMG Entertainment, Director of Finance and Operations at Yahoo! Music and Entertainment, Chief Financial Officer of Launch Media, Inc. and a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. As the Chief Financial Officer of Launch Media, Inc. Mr. Mickeal managed the company’s digital media operations from the pre-product start-up stage to going public. Launch Media, Inc. was sold to Yahoo! and became Yahoo! Music where Mr. Mickeal managed the finance and operations for Yahoo! Music and Entertainment. Mr. Mickeal is a CPA and holds a B.A. in Business/Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in accounting.