Mattel Enhances Leadership Team to Drive Creativity, Innovation and Growth

Company adds proven leaders across brand strategy, content creation, entertainment, finance, media and talent development

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced the appointment of four executives to key senior roles enhancing the company's leadership expertise as it implements its plan to deliver improved performance:

  • Richard Gros, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Juliana Chugg, Global Core Brands Officer
  • Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Chief Content Officer
  • John Vandemore, Chief Financial Officer, Global Brands and Commercial

"Today's announcement is an important step towards re-invigorating our culture and increasing accountability, as we accelerate our efforts to deliver enhanced creativity, innovation and financial performance," said Christopher Sinclair, Mattel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  

Richard Gros, Chief Human Resources Officer, will report to Mr. Sinclair and lead Mattel's efforts in becoming a more innovative and performance-driven organization.  Mr. Gros has 30 years of experience in human resources with proven expertise in global talent acquisition and assessment, organizational strategy and development, succession planning and culture building.  He spent nearly two decades at PepsiCo, including significant time in emerging markets, where he led the opening of offices in China, India and Russia.  In addition, he has served as CHRO for publicly traded companies including Caribiner International, United Rentals and Cambridge Solutions, and founded an executive search consulting company targeted at Fortune 500 and emerging growth companies.

Juliana Chugg, Global Core Brands Officer, will oversee all aspects of marketing strategy, creative execution and product development acrossMattel's iconic brands and will be responsible for driving continued innovation throughout the portfolio.  She will report to Richard Dickson,Mattel's President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ms. Chugg joins Mattel from General Mills, Inc., where she was a proven leader in operating multi-branded portfolios.  Most recently she served as President of the company's Meals division, which includes brands such as Progresso, Old El Paso and Betty Crocker, where she managed all aspects of the multi-billion dollar business and oversaw impressive sales growth across the portfolio.  She also served as President of the company's Pillsbury division.  Ms. Chugg also serves on the Board of Directors of VF Corporation, one of the world's largest fashion companies.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Chugg held product management and general management roles at Berri Australia.

Catherine Balsam-Schwaber will join Mattel in the new role of Chief Content Officer, where she will lead Mattel's efforts to implement an integrated strategy for content creation and distribution, digital and media that connects consumers with the company's brands in meaningful and innovative ways.  Ms. Balsam-Schwaber will report to Mr. Dickson.

Ms. Balsam-Schwaber joins Mattel from NBCUniversal, where she led the corporate content and innovation agency.  As a recognized leader in the entertainment business, Ms. Balsam-Schwaber also directed transformative content strategies at AOL, Time Warner, MTV and iVillage.  She began her career in the White House Communications Office and later joined NBC News as a producer for the flagship NBC Nightly Newsprogram.    

John Vandemore, Chief Financial Officer, Global Brands and Commercial, will lead a new Brand Finance Group, reporting to Mr. Dickson with a functional reporting line to Kevin Farr, Mattel's Chief Financial Officer.  He will be responsible for financial strategy and performance metrics for the global brand portfolio, as well as the North America and International commercial organizations.

Mr. Vandemore most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of International Gaming Technology, where he was a member of the executive leadership team.  Prior to that, he held leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company, including CFO of the Walt Disney Imagineering division.  Previously he served as an associate with AlixPartners, where he helped guide numerous companies through successful turnarounds.

Richard Dickson, Mattel President and Chief Operating Officer, said "These proven leaders bring important skills and experience across the critical areas of talent development, content creation and delivery and performance measurement. Richard, Juliana, Catherine and John are highly respected, experienced leaders and we look forward to working closely with them to foster a high-performing, inventive and entrepreneurial culture at Mattel."

About Mattel

The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products.Mattel's portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, Fisher-Price® brands and MEGA® Brands, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2014, Mattel was named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel's companies employ approximately 31,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150 nations. Visit us at www.mattel.com,www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.

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SOURCE Mattel, Inc.