tBR Person of the Week: David Norman - David Leaves Goliath

by David Norman | 06 Jan 2022

The Bloom Report

David, I didn’t see this coming and I never thought you would leave Goliath.  What is going on?

My wife, Mary and I have been talking about our future.  She is a physician taking care of Seniors and has been working her tail off to keep them healthy and Covid free.  We are both about 55 years old.  We asked ourselves, do we want to keep doing what we have been doing for the next 10 years and then retire and have fun or do we want to do something else now.  We both decided we were up to have some fun now and look for future challenges down the line.

What are your roles at Goliath?

I basically have two hats.  In one role I am CMO of the global games business with our global product development teams and North American marketing team reporting to me.  My other role is running the North American business where I focus on key account management and developing the central elements of our marketing plans.  However, the last two years much of my time has swung to operations and logistics given the challenges of Covid. 

What are your favorite games that were developed by Goliath under our watch?

I’m going to have to go with the poop theme.  Shit Happens, and Doggie Doo

How does a founder/owner of a toy company just leave?

I sold my equity interest in the company to the Golad family some years back which is why I have the opportunity I do now. 

So what are your next steps?

When Adi and I cofounded Goliath North America 13 years ago, we planned for a day that I would leave and part of that involved giving a long transition period to make sure the business continued to operate smoothly.  As part of that plan, I’m staying with Goliath until the end of March or until they feel my responsibilities are sufficiently transitioned, whichever comes first.  Mary and I are both leaving without other jobs/businesses planned out.  We will start by taking six weeks off to take a road trip to California.  We have other fun trips to Europe, Asia and South America in the planning phases as well but we are on hold seeing what is happening with Covid. 

But eventually you are coming back to the industry, right?

My guess is down the line I’ll be back.  When I left University Games, 13 years ago, I also left without having something lined up and the opportunity of starting Goliath came my way and I started 5 months later.  I’m open and looking forward to what the future holds.

How is Goliath going to restructure with you leaving?

Goliath established a board of directors several years ago.  The Vice Chairman of the Board, Peter Boutros is replacing me in running the US office.  We also recently hired Doug Wadleigh, formerly with Mattel, to run our product development for all of toys.  We will tuck in the global games development under his leadership. However, the big thing to know is that we have an amazing team at Goliath that they can lean on to make everything happen.  What makes me most happy about the time I’ve had at Goliath is the amazing relationships I’ve formed both with employees and outside stakeholders.  What will keep Goliath strong is the contribution of these amazing people. 

Besides travel, what else do you plan to do for fun?

One of my goals is to play at least 365 new games in the New Year and lead development of at least 6 new concepts that will succeed in the market.  I’m very fortunate to have a vocation that is also my passion.    Would love advice from the pros.