In what has to be a first, a cannabis company is drawing from the ranks of the toy and novelty industry to fill out a leadership post. Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) announced on Tuesday that it has drafted Katy Dickson, a onetime top manager at Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), to be president of its key Manitoba Harvest subsidiary.
According to both Tilray and her LinkedIn profile, Dickson was most recently a senior vice president at Mattel. Her brief also included being president and a member of the board of directors of the toymaker's high-end doll product line, American Girl. She worked at Mattel from February 2016 to December 2018.
Dickson's experience in the managerial ranks is wide and varied. Prior to Mattel, she was executive vice president and chief marketing officer at News Corp's News America Marketing unit. This followed a nearly 25-year stint at General Mills in a variety of executive roles that included brand-management duties for such familiar products as the Old El Paso Mexican food line and Betty Crocker Dinners.
In its press release heralding the new appointment, Tilray praised Dickson's "incredible experience connecting with global customers in the [consumer packaged goods] and functional food categories."
"Her experience will be valuable as we work to gain access to new markets around the world and evolve our hemp food offerings to cater to varying customer needs and preferences," the company added.
According to Tilray, Manitoba Harvest is the No. 1 hemp food maker in the world and has a presence in more than 20 countries. Tilray bought Manitoba Harvest in February in a deal worth up to 419 million Canadian dollars ($315 million).
Manitoba Harvest forms a considerable part of its owner's business -- during Tilray's Q3, hemp products brought in nearly CA$15.7 million ($11.8 million) in revenue, comprising almost 31% of its total revenue for the period.
It was not immediately apparent when Dickson would begin her employment, and Tilray did not provide any specifics about her compensation.
Investors seem to think that hiring her was a smart move for Tilray. The marijuana stock closed nearly 3% higher on Tuesday, a day when most major stock market indexes recorded declines.