Look for unexpected new products as well as strategic alliances and acquisitions in the non-traditional toy space. Also, look for Mattel to increase its recruitment of employees with technology backgrounds.
Does the hiring of former Google Senior Executive, Margaret Georgiadis, as Mattel's new CEO tell us something about the Mattel's future plans; I say yes?
Think about it: Ms. Georgiadis comes from Silicon Valley's own Google, one of the most innovative companies in world history. While there, she served as President of Google America from 2011 through 2017. As a result, she is bringing some of Google's blue sky, entrepreneurial spirit with her. Here is how Fortune Magazine describes her:
Georgiadis…led search giant Google's commercial operations and ad sales in the U.S., Canada and Latin America for six years…In addition to her work at Google, Georgiadis has also served as COO of daily deals e-commerce website Groupon and as chief marketing officer at Discover Financial Services . She also currently serves on the boards of fast-food purveyor McDonald's and renewable products maker Amyris.
Former CEO Christopher Sinclair has been preparing Mattel for her arrival.
The choice of Ms. Georgiadis is, in fact, right in line with where Mr. Sinclair has been taking the company over the last few years. Under his stewardship, Mattel has taken on the new and audacious. The company's development of "Hello Barbie", an emotive robot, was so provocative that it landed on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. In addition, Mattel worked with Google to develop a very 21st century, virtual reality version of the classic View-Master.
All of this tells me that the company is on a mission to becoming a true, multi-platform toy and play company. As a result, look for unexpected new products as well as strategic alliances and acquisitions in the non-traditional toy space. Also, look for Mattel to increase its recruitment of employees with technology backgrounds.
Ms. Georgiadis is there to continue and amplify efforts to make Mattel a new kind of toy company. That's good for Mattel and that's good for the toy industry.