Scholastic has hired Matt Brown, co-founder and “play czar” at strategic innovation company big BOING LLC, to head up its Klutz division. Brown joins Scholastic as president of Klutz and a senior v-p at Scholastic Inc., a new role occasioned by the recent retirement of Klutz co-founder John Cassidy, and the departure earlier this summer of Debra Lande, who joined Klutz as publisher last year. Brown will be responsible for the creative direction and strategic development of the Klutz division.

“Matt’s unique talents combine business acumen with an impressive history of kid-centered creativity,” said Scholastic Trade president Ellie Berger in a statement announcing Brown’s hiring. “Matt’s contagious sense of fun and depth of experience developing and building brands in the children’s market make him perfectly suited to lead Klutz into the future.”

Prior to helping found big BOING, which has worked with companies including Coca-Cola, Playskool, and Nickelodeon, as well as launching its own brands, Brown worked at LeapFrog, where he co-founded and led its Internet division and was v-p of business development. “From the early days of learning to juggle or play the harmonica to buying 25 different creativity books for my daughter, Klutz has been a part of my life and a company that I’ve admired for a long time,” said Brown. “I’m super excited to work with the Klutz team and to see where we can grow this amazing, playful brand.”

Brown will report to Berger. Scholastic acquired Klutz from Corus Entertainment in 2002.