Mattel: Margo Georgiadis
Margo Georgiadis doesn’t want to play with Mattel anymore. Her toy story only lasted 14 months when she left Mattel to become the CEO of Ancestry.com. Mattel was in the early stages of her sweeping transformation plan. She intended to revive the flat sales of the world’s second largest toy maker (after Lego) against the trend of video games and baby-brain-captivating tablets.
Georgiadis’s departure from the company founded in 1945, reflects the impending reality of the traditional toy industry. She was to be Mattel’s saving grace and bring the company towards a more digital-centric business. Mattel simultaneously needed to push American Girl Dolls and Fisher-Price toys while entering the interactive market itself. A former Google exec, she had a plan to launch Mattel’s future in digital gaming.
However, during this pivot the liquidation of Toys R Us occurred, and may be seen as a killing blow. They were Mattel’s second largest customer accounting for up to 20% of U.S. sales. Georgiadis quit as Mattel began switching to other channels to showcase its products. To compete with live-stream kids unwrapping gifts, 2 billion views of the Baby Shark Dance, and endless app downloads, Mattel has more to do than just align with online marketplaces like Amazon, or squeeze more into and out of, big box stores. Mattel announced plans to cut nearly $650 million in costs over the next two years to survive. Margo didn’t stay to see if her plan could turnaround the company. So the next chapter will either be written digitally by new CEO Ynon Kreiz, or the book of this traditional toy company may end.