Company founders Delna Bhesania and Barry Ward to step down later this year.
Global content company Rainbow has announced the appointment of Rick Mischel as new CEO for Canada-based animation services provider Bardel Entertainment.
Mischel is a renowned industry professional, with a strong background that includes executive positions at some of the world’s best-known companies in animation, games and family entertainment. As the new CEO of Bardel Entertainment, Mischel will build on the company’s strong reputation for quality, creativity and innovation to develop a new business strategy by exploring new opportunities.
His industry background makes him uniquely qualified to bring forward the work of the company’s founders, Delna Bhesania and Barry Ward, who are stepping away this year, and the ideal candidate to build on Bardel’s firm foundation of success. In the 30 years since its founding, Bardel Entertainment has become not only a leading company in its field and one of the leading animation service providers in North America, but also a multiple award-winner and a byword for quality.
With its acquisition in 2015 by Rainbow, Bardel is now poised to make an even greater impact on the fast-growing and highly competitive animated television and feature film market, and Mischel is perfectly positioned to lead the company’s supremely talented team to even greater successes.
Mischel’s experience, encompassing business, creative and technical areas of animation and production, puts him in an ideal position to take this strategically important Rainbow company to the next level. Mischel comes to Bardel from Sony Pictures Animation, where he served as a Producer leading SPA’s initiative to develop existing intellectual property across all media, as well as securing new projects for feature film development. As Executive Producer, he played a major role in the successful launch of two Sony animated series based on the feature film hits Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and as Senior Vice President for Sony Pictures Imageworks, Mischel launched and managed the animation/VFX facility for Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver, working on films such as Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Amazing Spider Man and The Smurfs.
Prior to SPA, he was Executive Vice President of Technicolor, leading the Business Unit that specialized in the creation of digital assets for the games and the animation industry, as well as managing the joint venture with DreamWorks Animation in India. He has also served as Founder and President of Reach Games, offering digital creation services to the games industry; he was CEO of CGI animation studio Mainframe Entertainment and President and COO of the publicly traded The Harvey Entertainment Company, where he was in charge of managing business and creative affairs for some of the most profitable intellectual properties in family entertainment, including Casper The Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.
“This is an exciting opportunity to lead a group of gifted animation artists with a proven track record of delivering the highest quality animation for some of the biggest intellectual properties in television and film,” said Mischel. “I look forward to continuing that history of surpassing client expectations, and working together with the global resources of Rainbow to take the company in new, innovative directions.”
Rainbow Group founder and president Iginio Straffi commented: “Rick is an incredibly talented leader who has impressive track records. The potential for growth of Bardel Entertainment is enormous, but it requires a future-focused leader with the recognised depth and breadth of experience to manage the opportunities and challenges of a multi-platform, multi-studio world. Rick is that leader, a well-known and respected talent throughout the industry, who brings a wealth of animation experience to his new post. We are extremely delighted with this appointment and are excited to work with him bringing Bardel to higher ground.”