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WSB External Advisory Board

Tom Kalinske

Tom Kalinske

Venture Partner

Alsop Louie VC

Tom Kalinske is Executive Chairman of Mixed Dimensions, a 3D printing solutions company. Previously he was chairman of Global Education Learning, a startup dedicated to teaching English and other subjects to children in Asia via online activities, DVDs, and printed books/curriculum, and also headed the Audit Committee at Cambium Learning Group.

Mr. Kalinske has had a long career in the toy and game industry, as well as in educational toys and activities. He has held leadership roles at Mattel, Sega of America, Universal Matchbox Group and LeapFrog, among others. In 1997, he was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

From 2004 to June 2006 Mr. Kalinske was LeapFrog’s CEO/chairman, and he also served as CEO/chairman from 1997 to 2002. Mr. Kalinske has been part of LeapFrog since orchestrating the investment in it by Knowledge Universe in 1997, helping LeapFrog grow from a startup specialty toy company to the largest educational toy company in the world.

Mr. Kalinske joined Knowledge Universe (KU) at its founding in 1996 as its president and was on its Board of Directors. KU has been the parent of a diverse group of educational operating companies with a common theme of helping individuals and businesses to realize their full potential by using technology to improve education.

From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Kalinske was president and CEO of Sega of America, Inc. Under his leadership, Sega’s share of the then-$4 billion U.S. interactive entertainment (video game) market grew from under 10% to over 50% by 1994, passing Nintendo as market leader. SOA became the largest U.S.-based developer of entertainment software and created the Sonic the Hedgehog brand and successful titles in other categories. The 2014 book, Console Wars, chronicled Mr. Kalinske’s strategies and fight against Nintendo. It has been made into a documentary film scheduled to be released this summer.

From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Kalinske served as president and CEO of Universal Matchbox Group (NYSE), and was responsible for restructuring the company, rebuilding the Matchbox brand, and returning the company to profitability.

Prior to that, he served as president and co-CEO of Mattel, where he managed the building of the Barbie brand from approximately $42 million in 1973 to more than $550 million and the building of Hot Wheels to a $100 million business. During Mr. Kalinske’s tenure, Mattel entered the preschool toy market and developed the He-Man Masters of the Universe line, the Princess of Power, Rainbow Brite, and many other successful toy lines and TV shows.

Mr. Kalinske is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison He earned an MBA from the University of Arizona, and attended the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Management Program. He served in the U.S. Army. Mr. Kalinske is married to former actress Karen Panitz and they have six children. They live in Northern California.