Mattel Promotes Stockton to CEO to Replace Retiring Eckert

Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toymaker, said Chief Executive Officer Robert Eckert will retire at the end of the year and be replaced by current Chief Operating Officer Bryan Stockton.

Eckert, 57, will remain chairman, the El Segundo, California-based company said today in a statement. Stockton, 58, also was elected to the board, effective Jan. 1. Eckert joined Mattel as its CEO and chairman in 2000.

Stockton, who came to Mattel in 2000 and became COO a year ago, led the company’s international division and its expansion to more foreign markets. During his tenure, sales outside the U.S. increased from about 36 percent of total revenue to 50 percent. A majority of Mattel’s sales may soon come from overseas with Stockton leading the company, said Sean McGowan, an analyst for Needham & Co. in New York,

“Bryan has demonstrated to be a solid, dependable, outstanding guy with a good idea of where their international opportunities are,” said McGowan, who recommends buying Mattel shares. “It’s not going to be a change in direction, nor is one needed.”

Stockton will take the reins at the maker of Barbie and Hot Wheels after three straight years of sales growth. Revenue rose 9 percent to $2 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Mattel fell 2.2 percent to $27.76 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 9.2 percent this year.

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