Board of Directors

This section includes the Profiles of the Board of Directors of The Character Group plc.

Carmel Warren

Non-Executive Chair

Carmel Warren was appointed to the Board in April 2021 and assumed the Chair in January 2024. Carmel is an experienced executive at both operational and board levels.  She is currently a non-executive director of Fonix Mobile plc, an AIM listed company. Prior to this Carmel served as Chief Financial Officer of D4t4 Solutions Plc (D4t4), the AIM quoted specialist in data platforms. During her earlier career she spent eleven years with ExxonMobil in key financial and operational roles within the organisation and, for five years, operated her own Consultancy. She worked at E&Y from 1986 – 1990, where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Carmel is Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of each of the Remuneration and Nominations Committees.

Kiran Shah

Joint Managing Director and Group Finance Director

Kiran Shah is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. After initially working in a private accountancy practice, he moved into industry and, since 1978, has been involved extensively in the toy industry, notably in his role in jointly heading up a successful management buyout of Merit Toys Limited in 1981 and its subsequent sale to Bluebird Toys plc in 1988. He jointly established the original business of The Character Group plc with Mr King and Mr Kissane in April 1991.

Kiran is jointly responsible with Mr Diver for the setting and implementation of the group’s corporate and competitive strategy and managing its commercial affairs and is responsible for the Group’s financial management, accounting, tax and legal affairs.

Jonathan Diver

Joint Managing Director

Jon Diver joined the business in September 1991 from Rainbow Toys Limited, where he was Senior Marketing Executive. He became Group Marketing Director in August 1994 and has developed close working relationships with the Group’s suppliers, including Licensors and Manufacturers. He has played a key role in determining and delivering the group’s diversified product development strategy. Jon is a past chair of the British Toy & Hobby Association.

Jon is jointly responsibility with Mr Shah for the setting and implementation of the Group’s corporate and competitive strategy and managing its commercial affairs.

Joseph Kissane

Managing Director - Character Options Limited

Joe Kissane has considerable sales expertise both at retail and supplier base in and outside the toy industry, gained over a period of over 40 years, notably with such companies as Nabisco, Lego and Tonka. He is one of the founders of the Group and is a senior committee member, charity secretary, trustee and past chair of the Toy Industry’s leading children’s charity The Fence Club.

Joe has direct responsibility for the sales and operational management of the Group’s principal UK trading subsidiary Character Options Limited, including overseeing relations with customers.

Jeremiah Healy

Group Marketing Director

Jerry Healy joined Character Options Limited (the Group’s principal trading subsidiary) in 2004 as Head of Marketing; he was promoted to Marketing Director in 2006 and then became Group Marketing Director in February 2016.  He has a wealth of marketing experience gained within the toy industry; prior to joining the Group he worked with Hornby Hobbies, Matchbox and Mattel, both in the UK and Europe and also at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.  Jerry holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Business Studies.

Jerry is responsible for setting and managing the Group’s product and customer focused marketing plans.

Clive Crouch

Non-Executive Director

Clive Crouch was appointed to the Board in February 2016.  His 35-year career in media included senior roles within GMTV a company he launched together with his fellow directors. From 1992 to 2007, Clive was GMTV’s Sales and Marketing Director. He attended The London Business School Senior Executive Programme in 2003. From 2007 he served as GMTV’s Chief Operating Officer until 2010, taking responsibility for the Channel’s License and Compliance to the Ofcom Broadcasting Codes.

Clive was a founder member of Think box, the ITV programme marketing company, and Clearcast, the quango that pre-clears all advertising copy for compliance to the advertising guidance codes. 

Clive now operates his own media consulting business and he remains actively involved in the toy industry, advising on such matters as regulatory, promotional activity and licensing.  He brings a wealth of relevant management and industry experience to the Board.

Clive is Chair of the Nominations Committee and is also a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees.

Jonathan Shearman

Non-Executive Director

Jonathan Shearman was appointed to the Board in June 2022.  He has broad stockbroking and investment banking experience, particularly in the fields of merger and acquisitions, strategic planning and forecasting.  He served as an independent non-executive director of Trifast plc, which is a premium listed company on the London Stock Exchange’s main market, from 2009 and was appointed as its Chair from April 2020.  Jonathan stepped down from the board at Trifast plc in September 2023.

Jonathan is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and is also a member of each of the Audit and Nominations Committees.

Michael Hyde

Non-Executive Director

Mike Hyde has extensive experience in the toy industry.   Prior to joining Character, Mike spent a number of years working for Mattel Inc., the NASDAQ listed US toy designer and manufacturer, where he held a number of management positions, focusing on brand management, marketing and product development.  Mike had responsibility for the management of the Group’s Far East operations from joining the Group in 2005 and became the managing director of the Group’s operations in that region and a main board executive director in 2011 until relinquishing his executive role with the Group on 31 December 2022.  Mike is now Senior Vice President and Managing Director with Funko, LLC, the NASDAQ listed leading pop culture lifestyle brand, but continues to provide his expertise and experience to the Group as a non-executive director of the Company.   

Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Mandarin Chinese and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.