Mattel, Inc (NASDAQ: MAT) announced that Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer, will step down from his position with the Company effective August 3, 2023 to take the role of president and chief executive officer at another public company. Richard Dickson has been at Mattel for a collective 20 years.
The company has promoted Lisa McKnight to Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, overseeing all of Mattel’s toy categories and global brands, as well as design and development. Josh Silverman has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Franchise Officer. His role has expanded to include leadership of digital gaming and licensed entertainment, in addition to global consumer products, publishing, promotions, and location-based entertainment, as well as franchise management. Both executives will assume Dickson’s responsibilities and report to Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mattel. The company has also promoted Chris Down to Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer, reporting to McKnight.
Ynon Kreiz said: “On behalf of our Board and everyone at Mattel, I thank Richard for his tremendous contributions. Among his many achievements, Richard has led the growth of some of the world’s most iconic and purpose-driven brands. I am personally grateful for the friendship, the partnership, and for his work in developing and growing the best brand and franchise team in the business today. We wish Richard great success in his new role.”
Kreiz continued: “Our strong and talented leadership team and the entire brand management organization are in an excellent position to continue to execute our strategy to grow our IP-driven toy business and expand our entertainment offering. Following the incredibly successful Barbie movie release, we look forward to further capitalizing on the many exciting opportunities to capture the full value of our iconic brands outside the toy aisle.”
Richard Dickson said: “Mattel is a remarkable company that is heading into an exciting new era. I’m immensely proud of the work we did together driving brand purpose, design innovation, cultural relevance, and executional excellence. I thank Ynon, the Board, the leadership team, and the entire Mattel organization for their partnership and the incredible work we did together. It has been an inspiring journey and a true honor to be part of this amazing community and company.”
Lisa McKnight has held senior leadership positions at Mattel for nearly 25 years and has been the global head of Barbie since 2016 and Dolls since 2019. In this role she has led the transformation of Barbie and has driven significant portfolio expansion. Under her leadership, Barbie was the #1 Global Toy Property for 2020 and 2021 and the #1 Global Doll Property for 2020 through 2022, per Circana. She also led the successful relaunch of Monster High and played a key role in winning back the licensing rights to Disney Princess and Disney Frozen franchises. McKnight was recently recognized as one of the top brand marketers in the world by Forbes.
McKnight said: “It is an honor to oversee brands, products, and partnerships that are rooted in purpose and help children explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. I could not be prouder to lead this exciting next chapter of our iconic portfolio of brands with the best talent in the industry.”
Josh Silverman joined Mattel in 2022 as Global Head of Consumer Products and Chief Franchise Officer, following 20 years in leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company and Marvel. Since joining Mattel, he has expanded the company’s consumer products and publishing businesses, as well as live and location-based entertainment such as the World of Barbie traveling exhibit, Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, and the upcoming Mattel Adventure Park. Most notably, Silverman oversaw the execution of more than 165 consumer products partnerships and retail tie-ins related to the Barbie movie. He is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished executives in the consumer products industry.
Silverman said: “We have only begun to capture the tremendous commercial opportunity in Mattel’s world-class portfolio of IP. I am thrilled to take on this expanded role at such an exciting time in our growth as an IP-driven, high-performing toy company. I look forward to continuing to complement our incredible toy business by extending and deepening the emotional connection to Mattel brands, franchises, and characters for fans around the world.”
Chris Down has been a key leader in his 18 years with the company, and 30 years in the toy industry overall. He was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Design Officer in 2019 leading Mattel’s global design and product development. He previously held senior creative and leadership roles including General Manager of Vehicles and Hot Wheels. Down’s experience spans a range of functions, brands, and categories at Mattel, as well as prior leadership positions at Hasbro and Atari Interactive.