Can she make yet another come back even though her favorite store is closing?
Steve’s breakdown: Can Barbie and American Girl make it after Toy-R-Us closes? And even more important, can they do TV or movies? That seems to be the route the new CEO will be looking into. Either way, the view from their Malibu Dream House has changed and taking meetings from fresh eyed ad agencies has to be in the cards.
The negotiations for the departure of Georgiadis, who goes by “Margo,” from the El Segundo, California-based company was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Mattel announced a short time later that she would be replaced by Kreiz, who will take over the post a week from today.
Georgiadis will stay on at the company through May 10 to ensure a smooth transition before pursuing “a new opportunity in the technology sector,” Mattel said in a statement.
Kreiz will also serve as chairman of the board, as previously announced, replacing Christopher Sinclair, the executive chairman and former CEO of Mattel who announced last year his intention to retire at the 2018 annual meeting next month.
Kreiz is the former chairman and CEO of Maker Studios, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Co. in 2014. His work history also includes stints as chairman and CEO of Endemol Group, the world’s largest independent TV production company with local operations in more than 30 countries, and as general partner at venture capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe).
“Ynon has tremendous expertise across areas critical to our strategy, including digital, media and entertainment, and we have already benefited from that experience and his compelling vision for the company since he became a director,” Sinclair said. “Ynon has excelled at anticipating industry trends and brings an outstanding track record of innovation and success, with over 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries, including particularly deep experience in children’s entertainment.”
Sinclair added, “On behalf of the board and management team, we thank Margo for her service and many contributions to Mattel. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Georgiadis joined Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) in February 2017 from Google, where she served as president of the internet giant’s Americas division. She also previously served as COO at Groupon and chief marketing officer at Discover Financial Services.
During her 14-month tenure, Georgiadis has suspended Mattel’s dividend and restructured its management, and the company is in the midst of a restructuring that includes plans to cut $650 million from the budget.
But Georgiadis has been unable to turn Mattel’s fortunes around, as the company’s shares have fallen by 46 percent since the day she took over. The company, whose portfolio includes such popular brands as Barbie, American Girl, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels, now has a market cap of $4.6 billion.
Meanwhile, the bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us and imminent closing of all 700 of its U.S. stores hasn’t helped matters, eliminating an important retail avenue for Mattel.
“We have made strong progress in addressing the critical structural challenges facing Mattel, and I know Ynon is committed to building on that progress alongside our talented leadership team,” Georgiadis said.
“While the company has been facing significant challenges, we have achieved constructive progress in many key areas,” added Kreiz. “I am committed to building on our existing strategy as we continue to aggressively implement our transformation plan.”