Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Mat with his envisioning force and innate entrepreneurialism is the driving force behind ZURU. He has directed and inspired the company from creating ZURU’s first toy to building the multinational organization that it is today. Mat is based out of ZURU’s Guangzhou, China Headquarters and with the executive management team he guides the strategic development of the organization. Mat additionally pioneers the direction for both ongoing and upcoming projects, focusing closely on new development with the design and engineering teams.
Born and raised in Cambridge, New Zealand, Mat’s foundation is his internal desire to build upon the world of toys through new, unique and novel concepts. Eight years ago, after studying mechanical engineering and automation at Massey University in New Zealand for just one year, Mat decided that it was never to early to get the ball rolling and moved his entire purpose to China to found ZURU.
Mat is self-motivated, pioneering, a leader and incredibly passionate. He has innovation and the future development of ZURU on his mind always. Mat would be a Spinnaz from our Crazies Brand if he were a ZURU toy as his head is always “spinning with new ideas”.
Nick is a born people’s person with an insatiable appetite for building relationships and strategizing and executing winning formulas! He’s the ultimate force behind ZURU’s initial entrance and established presence in all markets. Nick’s main focuses also revolve around idea acquisition for future ZURU products as well as growth opportunities, international sales and marketing, overall global strategy and building networks in the licensing and inventor world.
Nick started out selling ZURU's very first product a Mini Hot Air- balloon door to door when he was in high school. Soon after, as an 18 year old, he moved to China carrying big ambitions to build ZURU into a Global company and a leading innovator within the toy industry. Nick has stopped at nothing to hunt down great toy ideas and to build the international market for ZURU’s brands. Today, ZURU's products are distributed with T.V. advertising in over 60 countries worldwide and are sold in almost every major retailer globally.
Although Nick is ZURU's youngest leader, his, drive, passion and ‘make it happen’ attitude have gained him much respect in the Global toy industry. Nick is from Cambridge, New Zealand, “town of champions and trees” as this small town of 15,000 boasts 5 medals from the 2012 London Olympics, and many MANY trees. If he was a ZURU Toy, Nick would be our X-Shot Turbo Fire, as he is ''noisy, fast and always firing out new ideas.”
Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer
Dedicated, inspiring and ambitious Anna is a pivotal leader of the ZURU management. She has an all-encompassing role as the controller of financials, operations, and strategic development of the company. From grass roots Anna has cultivated and developed ZURU's ever extending operations and dynamic, inclusive of all offices throughout Asia and the USA.
Anna strives to engage and grow talent within all levels of the organization, focusing on the individuals that comprimise the ZURU teams and therefore ZURU the organization. Anna’s understanding of the importance of the team and the people of ZURU allows her to manage and build valuable relationships across all avenues of the business, inclusive of those with licensing partners, suppliers, and global inventors. Her main energies are spent on ensuring and encouraging the realization of growth of the ZURU infrastructure and operations.
Having a firm financial foundation directly correlates to ZURU’s success and organizational development strategies. Anna controls and ensures ZURU’s finances are stable, healthy and risk-free. This solid financial position enables the continuous and rapid growth of the business and its acquisitions. Anna's unprecedented dedication to improvement is critical to ZURU's success.
Anna’s professional flexibility and strength allows her to behave much like Flexies from our Crazies Brand. Flexies are made of a super strong, pliable material that allows you to stretch, twist, and even flip them inside out. Anna’s character is similar as she is able to “flex” herself in every way possible and steps up to every situation in order to ensure each success at ZURU.
Head of Engineering
Simon Rushbrooke is “a man of action”! His role includes overseeing all of the mechanical engineering, tooling development, and anything that makes ideas become realities. Simon has been with ZURU since the day the company was founded and he prides himself on designing and developing groundbreaking technologies for our new upcoming projects. Simon also inspires his team as the strong but pliable material that holds the research and development department together.
Also from New Zealand, Simon left school at the age of 16 as he has always been a strong believer in hands-on learning. He worked at Longveld Engineering for two years where he was project manager and developed the world’s largest static fluid bed for milk powder production—what a milestone! At ZURU, Simon embraces all learning styles and encourages his team throughout the start to finish of the creativity and innovation process.
With a love for the outdoors and all things mechanical, Simon’s engineering capabilities have also spilled over to his love of motorbikes and he prides himself on his self-rebuilt VTR 1000. If Simon were a ZURU toy, he would have to be a ROBO FISH because they are highly developed, have revolutionized the industry, and are all about the latest mechanics. Simon, a passionate, hard-worker and, much like our ROBO FISH, “never comes up for air!”
Global Head of Human Resources
Sophie Ng is an integral part of ZURU’s management as Head of the Guangzhou office. Sophie fosters the smooth cooperation among all departments and in helping to develop the office teams she paves the way for the future of the organization. As a Guangzhou Open University graduate, Sophie started out as an animator, cartoonist and TV commercial artist for 7 years prior to working at ZURU. Sophie has been with ZURU since our founding in China and has worked in multiple job functions including the areas of marketing, customer service, and where she is today. Though Sophie is currently the head of our main office, to this day she also acts as our unofficial creative consultant on all matters aesthetic! Sophie’s valuable experiences from ZURU’s beginnings and undying passion for ZURU are two main reasons why ZURU is the company it is today.
Born and raised on the beautiful right bank of the Pearl River in Guangzhou, Sophie grew up near the largest pet, flower and tea markets in Guangzhou – she has grown up thinking big! Sophie’s mind set for accomplishment of large projects, together with her sense of creativity allow her to be multifaceted, turning her hand successfully to all of Zuru’s office needs.
Sophie’s role changes by the second and she is constantly dealing with every situation of the office, big or small. Her versatility reminds us of the many colors and sizes that are available in the Shnooks line. She can be styled in hundreds of ways including respected voice to members of the upper management; Sophie will continue to support ZURU in big ways for many years to come.
Head of Research Development
From the time of ZURU’s beginnings in China, Coco has been a key member of the team. Coco started her professional career at ZURU as a recent graduate from Guangdong University of Business with a Bachelors degree in Economics. Coco was the top ranked student in her class at university, the self-motivation and intelligence that allowed for this achievement is reflected directly in her style at ZURU. Her conscientious work ethic, attention to details, talent and creativity allows for continuous and rapid growth for her as an individual and for ZURU. For this reason, Coco has become one of ZURU’s most valued employees.
Just as the company has grown exponentially, Coco’s role with ZURU is all-encompassing as she is now the main driver of business development. Coco controls new product development, research and development, new business development and inventor relations. Coco manages the production processes of our brands, working as a liaison with partners and serving as an ambassador for what ZURU stands for. Coco continues to build ZURU’s growing inventor and research and development network through managing and maintaining positive relationships.
Diverse in both professional ability and talent, Coco loves to play various sports, including the dance forms jazz and salsa. Born and raised in Guangzhou, Coco likes to reward herself by travelling to different places around the world. When asked which ZURU toy Coco would most like to be, she says a Pinxy Pet because they are magical. Coco continues to make magic happen on a daily basis here at ZURU.
Vice President- North America
With over 18 years of experience in the toy industry, Lance has become the vital driver of sales in our North American business. Lance is from Forked River, New Jersey, home to the oldest nuclear power plant in the United States, and started his career with the United States NAVY--two reasons why his work-ethic and achievements shine so brightly!
Lance continues to make things happen for ZURU through his implicit expertise, sound judgment, broad knowledge and natural salesmanship. Lance is a results-oriented, go-getter and knows how to strategically set and achieve goals and sales. His attitude and ability to make things happen make him one-in-a-million.
Lance has been an indispensable member of the ZURU team for over two years. When asked what ZURU toy he would be, he said “ROBO FISH, because I’m going to be the toy of the year!” With that positive attitude and having already been one of the major driving forces at the front-end of the company ZURU confidently believes in Lance to provide us with even greater opportunities in the future.
At ZURU, work is fun! Bound by our mission to be innovative, creative, and inspiring, each member of the “ZURU Family” shares the same intrinsic philosophies of fostering a workplace culture that is everything we stand for. Members from all 4 of our offices work closely together by communicating effectively and are bound by the same values. Most importantly, ZURU’s upper management greatly values each of our employees as we do our family.
To create a sense of comradeship, our managers are encouraged to organize activities to build a team-oriented culture. , tThis strong foundation ensures that ZURU has the means and talent necessary to move boldly into the future.