Mattel has announced that the Board of Directors has named Ynon Kreiz, a Mattel director since June 2017, as Chief Executive Officer effective April 26, 2018.
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, 2018 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, 2018. Kreiz succeeds Christopher A. 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.”
Sinclair added, “On behalf of the Board and management team, we thank Margo for her service and many contributions to Mattel. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Said 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 continued, “I would like to thank Margo for her exceptional contribution to reset the company for the future and I am grateful for the time we spent together at Mattel.”
Said Georgiadis, “We have made strong progress in addressing the critical structural challenges facing Mattel, and I know Ynon is committed to building on that progress alongside our talented leadership team. It has been a privilege to lead such an iconic company at an important time of change, and I want to thank the amazing people at Mattel for their tireless commitment to inspiring wonder in kids across the world. I am proud of what we accomplished together and confident in Mattel’s path forward.”
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, one of the world’s largest independent television production companies, with local operations in more than 30 countries. Prior to that, Kreiz was a General Partner at venture capital firm Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe), one of the leading early stage investors in Europe.
Earlier in his career, Kreiz co-founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Europe N.V. (FKE), a leading children’s entertainment company with pay-TV channels in over 50 countries across Europe and the Middle East. FKE was listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam in 1999 and the majority shareholding was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2002. 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. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from Tel Aviv University, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.