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Mattel chief steps down amidst challenges

Margaret Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel (MAT) — the troubled toymaker mostly known for the iconic Barbie dolls — has decided to step down from her roles amidst huge challenges, to pursue a new opportunity in the booming tech sector.

This management change comes at a crucial time when the company is rigorously working to revive its sales, which has been on a constant decline since 2013.

During her 14-month tenure, Georgiadis — who joined Mattel from Google (GOOGL) — had focused on boosting growth for its biggest brands. Under her leadership, the toy company cut jobs, suspended dividend, and accelerated cost-cutting to scale back up. But none of these strategies helped lift the company’s sales. Last year, Mattel reported a 11% drop in its total sales to $4.9 billion.

Margaret Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel (MAT) — the troubled toymaker mostly known for the iconic Barbie dolls — has decided to step down from her roles amidst huge challenges

The condition worsened when retailer Toys R Us Inc, which accounted for 15-20% of Mattel’s US sales, filed for bankruptcy last year.

Shares of the company dipped almost 3% on Thursday on this news. Georgiadis — who plans to join Utah-based online company Ancestry — will now be replaced by Ynon Kreiz, who was slated to become the chairman of the company. Kreiz, former Maker Studio executive, has more than two decades experience in the entertainment industry.

Kriez is expected to generate new revenues for the company mirroring rival Hasbro (HAS), which initially started out as a toymaker but gradually moved to licensing and distributing their own content. Last year, Hasbro’s net revenue in the Entertainment and Licensing segment grew 8% to $285.6 million.

Mattel is not the sole toymaker that is struggling. Lego has also been striving to boost its sales after years of profit. Maybe these companies have a lesson or two to learn from Hasbro, which has diversified into multiple streams of revenue.

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