Executive and Administrative Officers
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Antonio Urcelay was appointed Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Toys“R”Us, Inc. in October 2013 after leading the organization as interim CEO since May of that year. In this role, he is responsible for driving the company’s “TRU Transformation” strategy to make the business fit for growth across its more than 1,700 stores in 37 countries around the world.
Mr. Urcelay’s 30 years of retail and consumer goods experience includes an accomplished 18-year career with Toys“R”Us, during which he has gained deep knowledge of global markets and held roles of increasing responsibility for the company’s European business, most recently serving as President, Toys“R”Us Europe.
In this capacity, he was responsible for the successful operation of more than 250 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in eight European countries: the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. This included providing leadership in asserting the company’s global status as THE toy and baby products authority through marketing, merchandising, e-commerce, store support and customer service excellence. Mr. Urcelay was instrumental in creating strategies to drive growth in global markets by placing an emphasis on thinking locally.In 2011, Mr. Urcelay directed the company’s market entry into Poland, providingthe gateway for potential further expansion in Europe.
Since joining Toys“R”Us in 1996, Mr. Urcelay’s roles have included Managing Director, Iberia (Spain and Portugal); President, Southern Europe; and President, Continental Europe, before being named President, Toys“R”Us, Europe in July 2010. Prior to this, Mr. Urcelay spent the majority of his career working in retail and the consumer packaged goods industry. He previously served as Managing Director, Leche Pascual S.A., a Spanish dairy company. Earlier in his career, Mr. Urcelay spent 11 years as the head of the Spanish division for a British-owned supermarket chain, becoming a member of the Board of Directors of its parent company, the Ashley Group. Prior to that, Mr. Urcelay spent six years at the Dutch supermarket chain Royal Ahold, where he held various leadership positions, including Managing Director of the Spanish market. He also served as a marketing manager for the Spanish subsidiary of Procter & Gamble. In the earliest stage of his career, Mr. Urcelay spent five years practicing law at the international law firm Cremades, where he became a partner.
Mr. Urcelay earned his Juris Doctor from the Complutense University of Madrid. He currently serves as a member of the Toys“R”Us, Inc. Global Product Safety Policy Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of AECOC-GS1 Spain, an association of more than 25,000 companies in the consumer goods markets.
Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer
As Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., Richard Barry leads all merchandising initiatives for the company’s U.S. operations, including Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide and the legendary FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City, as well as the company’s dedicated e-commerce sites. In this role, Mr. Barry oversees a team of merchants in identifying and monitoring worldwide product trends and innovations to advance the company’s position as THE toy and baby products authority. Additionally, he is the Chair of the Global Commercial Committee. This group is responsible for delivering a coordinated strategic approach to all commercial aspects of the business. The Committee executes a unified approach to key merchandising initiatives through implementation of best practices, communication and collaboration, as well as the development of key merchandising and licensing partnerships.
During his nearly 30-year tenure at Toys“R”Us, which spans across the U.S. and the U.K., he has accumulated broad experience in all aspects of sales, operations and merchandising, through roles of increasing seniority. Mr. Barry joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in 1985 as a part-time employee in the U.K., and in 2004, he was promoted to Merchandising Director for Toys“R”Us, International, where he managed buying decisions for categories including Video Games, Electronics, Learning and Sports.
The following year, Mr. Barry was appointed Vice President, Divisional Merchandising Manager for the Learning, Electronics and Entertainment businesses for the company’s U.S. toy stores. In 2010, he was named Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, U.S., overseeing the Learning, Electronics and Entertainment product categories. In February 2012, Mr. Barry was promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, U.S. and was subsequently named to his current position in October of the same year.
Mr. Barry serves on the Board of the Entertainment Merchants Association. In addition, he was elected to the Board of Directors for the Toy Industry Association in February 2013, as well as the Toy Industry Foundation in February 2014.
Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President
As Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President, Toys“R”Us, Inc., Deborah Derby has responsibility for the company’s global Property Development, Procurement and Human Resources operations.
Ms. Derby joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in 2000. After holding a number of Human Resources roles of increasing responsibility, culminating in being named Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Legal and Corporate Communications for the global enterprise, she was promoted to President, Babies“R”Us in 2006, where she led all aspects of merchandising, marketing and store operations for the world’s leading dedicated baby products retailer.
In 2009, Ms. Derby was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc., with responsibility for Property Development, New Business Development and Merchandise Presentation, as well as overseeing the growth of the company’s retail store and online businesses in Canada and Australia. She held this role until February 2012, and, after a brief hiatus consulting for Kenneth Cole Productions in New York City, she returned to Toys“R”Us, Inc. in her current position and as a member of the Executive Committee in March 2013.
Prior to joining the company, Ms. Derby spent eight years at Whirlpool Corporation in various Human Resources roles. She joined Whirlpool from the law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, where she was an attorney specializing in employment law. Earlier in her career, she worked as a Financial Analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York and spent one year working at the company’s London offices.
Ms. Derby received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Masters of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame. She is a member of the Michigan Bar Association. In addition, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Vitamin Shoppe.
Dr. Wolfgang Link
As President, Toys“R”Us, Europe, Dr. Wolfgang Link oversees the company’s more than 280 stores across Europe, providing leadership for business operations in nine countries: Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In this role, Dr. Link has broad responsibility for marketing, merchandising, store operations, e-commerce and customer service excellence.
Dr. Link joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in August 2007 as Managing Director, Toys“R”Us, Central Europe, directing business activities for approximately 95 stores in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Poland, where he spearheaded the company’s successful market entry in 2011. During his tenure with the company, he has been instrumental in strengthening and developing the company’s Central European business. Dr. Link was promoted to his current position and appointed to the company’s Global Executive Committee in October 2013.
Prior to joining the company, Dr. Link spent three years as Managing Director, Specialty Stores at ElectronicPartner, a leading retail services and buying organization in consumer electronics, appliances, information technology/multimedia and telecommunications. In this capacity, he was responsible for the operation of more than 200 stores in Germany, Hungary and Turkey. He also served as one of four members of the company’s Executive Board. Earlier in his career, Dr. Link spent eight years at the METRO Cash and Carry Group, one of the top five worldwide retail groups, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including Assistant Manager to the CEO; Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Development; and Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, in Austria and Spain. Before entering the retail industry, Dr. Link spent three years as an Assistant Professor to the Chair of International Management at the University of Ingolstadt in Germany.
Dr. Link earned his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nuremberg and his doctorate of philosophy in international management from the University of Ingolstadt, both in Germany. He currently serves as the Chairman of the European Commercial Committee, the forum in which European cooperation in commercial aspects is discussed and actioned.
Toys"R"Us, Asia Pacific
As President, Toys“R”Us, Asia Pacific, Monika Merz oversees all operations and business activities for the company’s growing number of stores in Japan, Southeast Asia, Greater China and Australia. In this role, she is responsible for the continued growth, profitability and success of the company in these markets. Ms. Merz leads a team of talented executives in asserting the company’s position as the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer.
Ms. Merz joined the company in 1996 as Vice President and General Manager, Toys“R”Us, Canada. She served in this role until 2000, when she was promoted to President, Toys“R”Us, Canada. In this capacity, she introduced the company’s first integrated store format, which combines Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores under one roof. Today, these convenient, one-stop shopping destinations have opened in countries throughout the world.
In November 2007, Ms. Merz assumed leadership of Toys“R”Us, Japan, which was a publicly traded company on the Jasdaq until the late spring of 2010. With more than 160 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores, Japan represents the largest number of wholly owned stores in the company’s international portfolio, and Ms. Merz continues to lead the successful integration and growth of the toy and baby products businesses in this country as Representative Director and President & Chief Executive Officer of Toys“R”Us, Japan, a capacity in which she serves concurrently.
In 2011, Ms. Merz’s role was expanded to include responsibility for the company’s stores in Australia. And, later that year, Ms. Merz gained oversight of the company’s locations and corporate offices in Southeast Asia and Greater China when the company entered a joint venture agreement with Li & Fung to operate these formerly licensed stores. As part of her role, Ms. Merz serves as chairperson during meetings of the boards of directors of the joint venture as well as Toys“R”Us, Japan.
Ms. Merz has a strong background in the retail industry. Prior to joining Toys“R”Us, she held various roles in merchandising, store operations, supply chain and marketing with several companies, including Hudson’s Bay Company and Costco, as well as a specialty clothing chain and a catalog retailer.
Ms. Merz serves as co-chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s CEO Forum and previously served as co-chair of the Women in Leadership subcommittee. She was named “Leader of the Year” by the ACCJ in 2012 and again in 2014 in recognition of her work in these roles, among other contributions to the Chamber. In addition, in 2011 she was honored with the Dale Carnegie International Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in human resources development. Previously, Ms. Merz was a member of the Board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Canada. She also served as the Vice Chair of the Retail Council of Canada and headed the Government Relations Committee for Retailers for the Retail Council of Canada.
Ms. Merz is a Canadian citizen and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph in the province of Ontario.
Hank Mullany joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in November 2013 as President, Toys“R”Us, U.S. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the company’s “TRU Transformation” strategic plan for the U.S. business through the more than 875 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide, as well as its portfolio of e-commerce sites. In driving this strategy to position the business for long-term profitable growth, Mr. Mullany has focused the U.S. organization on three key priorities: Transform the Customer Experience, Develop High-Performing, Highly Engaged, Diverse Teams and Become Fit for Growth.
A seasoned retail executive with more than 30 years of experience and a strong background in operations, finance, customer service and strategic planning, Mr. Mullany has a proven track record of developing and executing growth strategies, while focusing on executional excellence and transforming businesses.
Mr. Mullany previously served as Chief Executive Officer for The ServiceMaster Company, one of the world’s largest residential and commercial services businesses, where he led the development and implementation of the company’s strategic plan to grow stakeholder value and enhance the customer experience. Prior to that, Mr. Mullany was Executive Vice President of Walmart U.S. and President of Walmart’s northern business, where he was responsible for leading over 400,000 associates in 28 distribution centers and 1,300 stores in 19 states, which generated more than $90 billion in revenue.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Mullany served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Kimmel Center, Inc., a high-profile nonprofit organization in Philadelphia. In this capacity, he provided day-to-day leadership in creating and executing the organization’s long-term strategic plan. He also spent 14 years at Genuardi’s Family Markets, where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, including President; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Vice President, Finance, among others. Under his leadership, the company achieved record sales and earnings growth and developed a nationwide reputation as a premier regional retailer. Mr. Mullany was also a management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand and, prior to that, worked at Fleming Companies, Inc., the largest food wholesaler in the United States.
Mr. Mullany received a bachelor’s degree in management and accounting and a Masters of Business Administration in finance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He serves on the Board of Directors for Saint Joseph’s University Erivan K. Haub Business School Board of Visitors, as well as on the Advisory Board for Archbishop Carroll High School. He also assists with fundraising for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Mr. Mullany also serves as a board member of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund.
David J. Schwartz
Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
As Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Toys“R”Us, Inc., David Schwartz is responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs within the company and serves as the Corporate Secretary to the boards of Toys“R”Us, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Mr. Schwartz oversees a team of attorneys who perform numerous legal functions in a variety of practice areas, including real estate, employment and labor, intellectual property, litigation, regulatory compliance and securities. He also manages the company’s international licensed store operations and leads its global Safety and Quality Assurance program as Chairman of the Global Product Safety Policy Committee.
Mr. Schwartz joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in 2001 as Vice President, Corporate Counsel, and was promoted to Deputy General Counsel in 2002. In this role, he became responsible for managing the organization’s legal department. Mr. Schwartz was named Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in 2003, and in 2008, was appointed to the Executive Committee. He subsequently assumed responsibility for the organization’s Safety and Quality Assurance program. Mr. Schwartz was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2009.
Prior to joining Toys“R”Us, Inc., Mr. Schwartz was a corporate partner at Anderson, Kill & Olick, P.C., where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions and the formation of private investment funds.
Mr. Schwartz holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University Business School. In 2012, Mr. Schwartz was named a “Top General Counsel” by ExecRank, the definitive ranking service of leading executives.
Mr. Schwartz serves as a Director on the Boards of Directors of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Japan Ltd.
Michael J. Short
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Michael J. Short joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in June 2014 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this capacity, he provides leadership for financial planning and analysis, internal audit, financial reporting, tax, treasury and investor relations across the company’s worldwide business operations. Additionally, Mr. Short is responsible for the company’s information technology infrastructure. He also serves as a member of the company’s Global Executive Committee.
Mr. Short is a seasoned finance executive with broad retail and corporate development experience. Prior to joining Toys“R”Us, Inc., he was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AutoNation for seven years. Before that, Mr. Short served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Universal Orlando. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of finance positions at Universal Orlando, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. and IBM Corporation. Mr. Short was also a helicopter pilot and tactics instructor for the United States Navy, based out of Norfolk, VA.
He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and received a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University Business School. Mr. Short serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Give Kids the World, a charity that fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.