CEO Margo Georgiadis is definitely intent on remaking Mattel into an agile, digital / physical company. Ms. Georgiadis, who was formerly President, Google Americas, has recently made two hires that reflect her digital background.
The new CFO will be Joseph J. Euteneuer. Mr. Euteneuer was formerly Chief Financial Officer with Sprint Nextel and Qwest. The new Chief Technology Officer is Sven Gerjets. Mr. Gerjets, was previously with tech companies like Symantec, AT&T, DirectTV and Time Warner Cable.
Of particular interest is this description of Mr. Gerjets mission as quoted from a Mattel press release with a telling headline, "Mattel Strengthens Leadership Team To Help Drive Transformation Strategy":
As CTO, Gerjets will create and execute a plan to transform Mattel’s into more data-driven company. He will be responsible for all aspects of technology implementation, including shared technology platforms, analytics, software, and hardware development and connected products.
In addition to Mr. Gerjets and Mr. Euteneuer, Ms. Georgiadis has gone outside of the toy industry for two other high level positions. Amy Thompson has been hired to become Chief People Officer. Prior to Mattel, Ms. Thompson was with TOMS Shoes and with Starbucks. Nancy Elder has been hired to become Chief Communication Officer. Ms. Elder was formerly head of communications for JetBlue.
These are very interesting hires. It appears that Ms. Georgiadis is definitely intent on evolving not just the company's products but its culture. Let's keep an eye on this as it has implications, not only for Mattel, but for the entire toy industry.