Mattel Taps Maker Studio Veteran Ynon Kreiz as CEO

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Ynon Kreiz

Kreiz replaces Margo Georgiadis.

Mattel has tapped media veteran Ynon Kreiz as CEO. 

Kreiz, the former CEO of Maker Studios, will replace Margo Georgiadis at the toy maker, effective April 26. Georgiadis will remain involved as an adviser through May 10 to help with the transition. 

Kreiz, who orchestrated Maker's sale to Disney in 2014, was upped to chairman of the Mattel board earlier this year, with a term set to start May 17. He will replace former Mattel CEO Christopher Sinclair, who plans to retire this year. 

“Ynon has tremendous expertise across areas critical to our strategy, including digital, media and entertainment, and we have already benefited from that experience and his compelling vision for the company since he became a director,” Sinclair said Thursday in a statement. “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.”

Added Kreiz: "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 joins Mattel at a crucial moment for the company, home to Barbie and Hot Wheels, which is restructuring amid struggles with lagging sales. Georgiadis, who took the reins of Mattel in February of last year, has not been able to halt the Southern California-headquartered company's declining sales or stock price. With experience as the chairman and CEO of Endemol Group and Maker, Kreiz brings extensive media know-how to the position. His appointment could portend a more concerted effort to bring Mattel toys to film and television, something the company has tried over the years with varying degrees of success. Sony is currently working on a Barbie film starring Anne Hathaway that is set for a 2020 release. 

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Georgiadis was in discussions to leave the company.