Mattel's Chief Brands Officer Steps Down in Management Shift

Updated on
  • CEO Georgiadis to be more involved in the American Girl
  • COO Dickson to oversee Barbie and Hot Wheels operations

A Melody Ellison Doll is displayed in the window of an American Girl Place store in New York.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Mattel Inc.’s chief brands officer is stepping down as the struggling toymaker’s top two executives assume greater control over its biggest properties.

Juliana Chugg will remain at the company as an adviser to Chief Executive Officer Margo Georgiadis, a spokesman said. She joined the company in 2015 from General Mills Inc., where she ran its meals division with brands like Betty Crocker.

Margo Georgiadis

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Georgiadis and Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson will now assume more oversight, with the manager of American Girl reporting directly to the CEO. The leaders of other top brands, like Hot Wheels, Barbie and Fisher-Price will report directly to Dickson, the company said.

“This structure will better enable us to build on power brand momentum, while putting the necessary resources behind key growth initiatives,” spokesman Alex Clark said in a statement. “Juliana has been instrumental in positioning our brands for success, and aligning them to our transformation. We thank her for all her contributions.”

Richard Dickson

Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Dickson, who rejoined Mattel in 2014 after departing the company in 2010, has been tasked with reviving Mattel’s ailing brands. He’s had some success with Barbie and Hot Wheels. But the company has failed to turn its fortunes around, with its shares down 39 percent in the past 12 months.

Georgiadis joined about a year ago, after a career running sales divisions at Google, and has since focused on creating growth for the company’s biggest brands while exiting several smaller toy lines. She’s also trying to speed up the company’s decision making and production cycles, which can last a year.

Geoff Walker, an executive vice president and 22-year Mattel veteran, will take on more responsibility, too. He’ll oversee an innovation incubator and the division that manages smaller properties and partnerships with entertainment companies like Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Co.

(Updates with additional management changes in final paragraph.)
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