Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis is leaving the struggling toy maker after 14 months
Mattel Inc. said Thursday that its chief executive, Margaret “Margo” Georgiadis, is leaving the El Segundo toy maker after she failed to halt the slide in Mattel’s performance during her 14-month tenure.
Georgiadis is departing “to pursue a new opportunity in the technology sector,” Mattel said. Ynon Kreiz, a former studio executive who joined Mattel’s board last year, will succeed her as chief executive effective next Thursday, when Mattel is scheduled to report its first-quarter financial results.
Kreiz also will become Mattel’s chairman next month, succeeding Christopher Sinclair, another former Mattel CEO who previously said he would retire at Mattel’s annual meeting May 17.
“We thank Margo for her service and many contributions to Mattel,” Sinclair said in a statement. “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Mattel, whose brands include the iconic Barbie doll, American Girl, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels, already was struggling when Georgiadis, a former Google executive, joined Mattel in February 2017. Her challenge was exacerbated by the bankruptcy filing of retailer Toys R Us Inc. last September. The toy chain, which accounts for 15% to 20% of Mattel’s U.S. sales, is now liquidating its U.S. operations.
Georgiadis tried to bolster Mattel by narrowing its focus to enhance Barbie, American Girl and its other core brands while streamlining its operations and slashing costs to match its lower sales. That included eliminating the company’s dividend.
But Mattel lost $1.1 billion last year as sales fell 11% to $4.9 billion, excluding currency fluctuations. The loss included a charge related to U.S. tax changes.
After the announcement of Georgiadis’ departure, Mattel’s stock closed at $13.45 a share, down 3% on the day. The stock has tumbled nearly 50% since she became CEO.
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