Santa Monica-based toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. announced Dec. 28 that its chief financial officer was stepping down.

Joel M. Bennet will step down from the position and an external search for his replacement is underway. Bennet is expected to continue till the company’s 2017 annual report is completed in the next few weeks, the company said.

“We appreciate the 22 years of service provided to the company by Mr. Bennett and wish him well in pursuing other opportunities,” Stephen Berman, chief executive officer said in a statement.

Jakks has had a tough year. Despite renewing some of its licensing deal – including one with The Walt Disney Co. and another with Century City-based Saban Brands, owner of the Power Rangers franchise and the Paul Frank brand – the company told its investors earlier this year that it was expecting a net loss for 2017. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing by Toy R Us, which carries Jakks products, was a key reason.

Jakks was ranked No. 104 on the Business Journal’s latest list of public companies based on market capitalization, with a value of $107.9 million as of June 30.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com or 323-556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.