Mattel has confirmed to Kidscreen that Juliana Chugg, previously chief brand officer at the US toymaker, will be transitioning to a new role. Chugg, who joined Mattel in 2015, will report directly to CEO Margo Georgiadis in a new capacity (though her official title has yet to be announced). It has been reported that Georgiadis, along with COO Richard Dickson, will assume greater control over Mattel’s power brands moving forward.
“As part of our ongoing effort to transform Mattel into a high-performing toy company, we are taking steps to streamline our management team,” Alex Clark, Mattel’s senior director of corporate communications, said in a statement. “We believe this structure will better enable us to build on power brand momentum, while putting the necessary resources behind key growth initiatives.”
The shift comes after Mattel reported a double-digit decline in sales for fiscal 2017. The US toymaker’s yearly worldwide net sales fell by 11% to US$4.88 billion, and its reported gross sales were US$5.51 billion (down 9% as reported and down 10% in constant currency). And, despite a 9% boost in Barbie sales during the holiday period, Mattel also reported declines for Q4 2017, with net sales down 12% to US$1.61 billion and gross sales declining by 8% to US$1.92 billion.
The company continues to focus on building its power brands–including American Girl, Barbie, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels–as part of its five-pillar plan. The strategy sees the toymaker focusing on the creation of digital content, internet-connected toys and products that promote learning. Through a development framework, Mattel will continue to extend its IPs into digital systems while further growth will be driven by consumer products, gaming, content and live experiences.
Hasbro reportedly approached Mattel with a potential takeover offer in November 2017, but no deal has materialized.