Not Toying Around, Mattel Ousts CEO

Not Toying Around, Mattel Ousts CEO
Image credit: Tracheotomy Bob | Flickr

It's game over for Mattel's CEO.

Today, the toy-making megalith, most famous for it’s iconic Barbie doll, announced Bryan G. Stockton is resigning from his role as chairman and CEO, positions he held since 2013 and 2012, respectively. He is also leaving the Board of Directors.

Related: Why Barbie Posed for Sports Illustrated

Mattel, a behemoth of a dinosaur in the toy-making industry, announced Monday that sales in the the ever-critical holiday shopping fourth quarter of 2014 were down 6 percent to $1.99 billion compared with the same three months a year earlier. Profit in the same period plunged more than 59 percent to $149.9 million, down from $369.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

In addition to slumping holiday sales, in the fall of 2014, rival toymaker Hasbro announced that it would be partnering with Disney starting in 2016. That deal includes dolls and surrounding merchandise for Disney princess characters from such classics as Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast along with The Little Mermaid and Frozen.

During his tenure, Stockton did what he could to revive the legendary yet aging Mattel brand. For example, at last year’s Toy Fair, he launched an Entrepreneur Barbie. (We were particularly tickled with that move. And in an effort to become more competitive with the ultimately popular Lego, Mattel bought MEGA Brands in April under Stockton’s leadership. At the time, MEGA Brands, the parent company for MEGA BLOKS, was the runner up in the construction toy and arts and crafts segment of the toy industry.

Related: Introducing Entrepreneur Barbie

Christopher A. Sinclair, as a member of Mattel's Board of Directors since the mid-1990s, will temporarily step into the role of CEO and chairman. Previously, Sinclair has held executive leadership roles in information technology companies at Pepsi and Foot Locker.

Mattel’s surprise announcement lands just a smidge over two weeks before the toy industry’s biggest event of the year, the Toy Show, which will be in New York City in mid February.

Related: With New Acquisition, Toy Maker Mattel to Take on Lego

Edition: October 2016

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