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Mattel: A Great Turnaround Story in the Making?

Mattel reported disappointing fourth quarter earnings on Friday, days after ousting its CEO and warning of a sharp decline in sales over the all-important holiday season.

The maker of the iconic Barbie doll has been struggling to gain traction in the toy aisle, as the popularity of Disney’s Frozen line has soared.

“We are disappointed with our results but moving forward with a heightened sense of urgency to make the necessary changes to enhance our brand relevance and improve our execution,” said Christopher Sinclair in a statement, who is serving as interim CEO after CEO Bryan Stockton abruptly resigned on Monday.

The toy-maker reported broad declines across its core brands. Sales of Barbie dolls sunk 12%, followed by an 11% decline in its Fisher-Price line and 4% decline in American Girl dolls. Hot Wheels sales, however, rose 5%.

Mattel has garnered a lot of attention for its Barbie blues: Amid ongoing sales declines, it has tried to recapture attention with Entrepreneur Barbie, and a Sports Illustrated placement stunt.

It has worked to diversify its toy offerings, but doll sales still account for 40% of Mattel’s business.

Key takeaway for all CEOs
CEOs may want to watch Mattel closely over the next 12 months to see a turnaround in the making and analyze what worked, what didn’t, and what would work for your business.

Read more
FORBES: Mattel Vows Makeover After Slumping Sales, CEO Ouster
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Mattel Interim CEO Vows Urgency, Sees Troubles as Self-Inflicted
BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST: Analyst Takes Note of Fisher Price Woes in Mattel Shakeup


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