Mattel Inc. announced that its board of directors has named Ynon Kreiz, a Mattel director since June 2017, as CEO effective April 26. Margo Georgiadis, who became Mattel’s CEO in February 2017, has informed the board of her decision to step down from her executive and board roles to pursue a new opportunity in the technology sector. Georgiadis will serve in an advisory role at Mattel through May 10 to ensure a smooth transition.
As previously announced, Kreiz also will become chairman of the board, effective upon his election at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, scheduled for May 17. Kreiz succeeds Christopher Sinclair, the executive chairman and former CEO of Mattel who, on June 13, 2017, announced his intention to retire at the 2018 Annual Meeting.
“Ynon has tremendous expertise across areas critical to our strategy, including digital, media, and entertainment, and we have already benefitted from that experience and his compelling vision for the company since he became a director,” said Sinclair. “Ynon has excelled at anticipating industry trends and brings an outstanding track record of innovation and success, with over 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries, including particularly deep experience in children’s entertainment. We are pleased he has agreed to take on this new role and are confident he and Margo will ensure a seamless transition given their strong relationship.”
Said Mr. Kreiz, “Mattel is an iconic company with many of the world’s most beloved brands and greatest toy franchises. I am excited by the opportunity to lead the company towards its next phase of transformation and restore Mattel to a high performing toy company. While the company has been facing significant challenges, we have achieved constructive progress in many key areas. I am committed to building on our existing strategy as we continue to aggressively implement our transformation plan. Since joining the board in June 2017, I’ve been impressed with the quality and depth of the team across the organization. I look forward to working together to fulfill Mattel’s long term potential and unlock the full value of its world class IP.”
Kreiz is the former chairman and CEO of Maker Studios Inc., a global digital media and content network company, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2014. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Endemol Group. Prior to that, Kreiz was a general partner at venture capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe). Earlier in his career, Kreiz co-founded and served as chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Europe N.V. (FKE). Kreiz serves on the board of directors of Warner Music Group Corp. and is also a member of the board of advisors of the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Mattel plans to release its first quarter 2018 financial results on April 26, 2018 at approximately 4:05 p.m. Eastern time. Following this, Mattel executives, including Georgiadis, Kreiz, CFO Joe Euteneuer, and President and COO Richard Dickson, will host a conference call and webcast at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.