Mattel CEO Resigns As Struggles at Toymaker Continue

On Monday, Mattel announced that Bryan Stockton the CEO resigned after only two years at the helm of the toy maker, which continues to struggle as its Fisher-Price and Barbie continue with slowing sales in a competitive toy industry.

Christopher Sinclair will succeed Stockton. Sinclair has been named Mattel’s interim CEO and chairman effective immediately.

The announcement coincided with the company’s preliminary report on sales that showed a slide in worldwide net sales of 7% to only $6.02 billion for the year, with profit during the same period stung from sales weakness, costs in association with the acquisition of MEGA Brands and lower gross margins.

Mattel is a great company, with a bright future but the board is under the belief that it is right for new fresh leadership to maximize the company’s great potential, said the new CEO.

Sinclair, who has been on the board since 1996, spent a great deal of his career working with food companies as well as private equity firms.

Mattel reported as well that net sales worldwide were down 6% for its key fourth quarter, which for toymaker is a very critical time.

No reason or explication was given with regard to weaker sales, but it is likely due to weakness for Barbie and the Fisher Price line.

Barbie posted sales declines in double digits for the first three quarters of its fiscal 2013 full year.

It is also poised to post a third straight annual drop in sales when Mattel finalizes its results from 2014.

Analysts as well as toy insiders have said that Mattel toys are not compelling enough, even peers such as Hasbro and Lego have been able to maintain momentum and reported sales that are higher.

In fact, Lego is bigger now than Mattel, knocking the toymaker off its top perch in 2014. Other upstart competitors are also taking some business from Mattel said insiders at the company.