Saturday, August 23, 2008

WebKinz Internationalization and Localization Strategy

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 2008) - Webkinz WorldTM, the premiere children's virtual world, is now actively growing around the world as children everywhere want to share in the fun. In response to worldwide demand, key elements of Webkinz World will be translated over the next several months in phases. Global participation is expected to increase dramatically. Members of Webkinz World will soon be able to play online with friends all over the world. The multi-award-winning site has seen skyrocketing growth across North America since its launch three years ago. Children purchase a soft plush pet with a secret code, which allows them to adopt a virtual pet online. In Webkinz World, they care for their pets, decorate rooms and earn virtual money by playing games and quizzes and doing small jobs. Members can visit with 'friends' on the site and ensure their pets are happy, healthy and content.

The Webkinz World site lists distributors and stores around the world that carry the plush Webkinz pets. Ganz is launching the international Webkinz eStore (, giving kids in areas where Webkinz toys are not sold the chance to purchase a plush pet or a virtual pet code. Members all around the world are also able to purchase special online feature codes for exclusive virtual items to expand their play in Webkinz World.

Turnover at ClickandBuy

No, I am not blogging about the good kinda European-style turnover (i.e.; generating revenue). This post is about the bad kinda American-style turnover (i.e.; losing key people from your organization).

Since my recent posts on the management and senior employee departures at ClickandBuy, I received numerous emails from current and former employees and executives at the company. For example, former members of the ClickandBuy Executive Management Team wrote me with some very revealing insider insights. One wrote;

"I think you should straighten your facts about the timeline regarding the timeline of the exodus at ClickandBuy (CaB) and btw you just missed a few key persons as well."

So I thought I would heed this advice and post about what this former insider had to say who writes;

"First the people in the US office left - except Fabian Siegel." These include

Eli Entin former VP Product Development at C&B now an Independent Consultant

Michael Holdman former VP eCommerce Solutions at C&B now self-emloyed

Jamy Nigri former VP New Media at ClickandBuy LLC now VP Biz Dev at Stealth Mode

John Baross former VP Global Sales & Strategic Development at Click&Buy LLC now Sales Director at Amdocs

Stuart Ginsberg former Public Relations Manager at ClickandBuy now self employed

Ann Whitener former VP eCommerce Sales at ClickandBuy now Director, Business Sales at Internet Payment Solutions, Inc "PayByCash"

See related post here;

Philipp Barthold

and Rafael Otero Fandino

were the first execs to leave end of last year already. Shortly followed by David Hunter (MD at ClickandBuy Europe).

Next ones to follow where Martin Grass (Senior Marketing Manager)

and Andreas Horst (VP Communication) (

This former insider continues;

"In fact nearly 2/3 of the software engineering department left the company ... Also nearly half of the sales department left the company, as well as the whole product management (only left is Hans Hoffmann). Same goes for the purchasing department and half of the operating department.

"One of the last execs to leave the company was Timo Seidel, followed by his fellow co-workers BJ Park (Director Controlling and Business Planning) and Denise Hundgeburth (handling the accounts receivable team)."

So there you have it readers. A more thorough and accurate timeline of the key people at the Executive and Senior Management level who have left ClickandBuy. Stay tuned for more inside stories ... For now, see these related posts;