Mattel adds its fifth new director since March

Mattel is beefing up its board of directors as its new boss attempts a turnaround.

The El Segundo, Calif -based toy maker said Thursday that Judy Olian, president of Quinnipiac University, will become its fifth new director since March.

Olian, also a former dean of UCLA Anderson School of management, is Mattel’s third female director on the 10 member board.

“Mattel and its board will benefit immensely from Judy’s valuable experience in human resource strategies and organization design,” Mattel Chairman and Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz said in a statement.

Kreiz, who in April became the embattled company’s fourth CEO in four years, increased the size of the company’s board from seven to 10, adding Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora Media, and Adriana Cisneros, a media executive who heads up her own firm Cisneros Group.

Mattel was harder hit by the Toys R Us bankruptcy than rival Hasbro and has been hampered by debt and a crisis in leadership. It reported a 14 percent sales decline in the latest quarter and a loss of $240.9 million compared to a $56.1 million loss a year ago.

Kreiz’s turnaround plan includes licensing out the company’s intellectual property to sell more merchandise linked to its big brands including Barbie and Hot Wheels — and to exit the manufacturing business.

Last week, Kreiz launched a film division, hiring veteran Robbie Brenner — a producer of the Academy Award-nominated movie “Dallas Buyers Club” and former president of production at Relativity Media — to head up the venture.

“Ynon is pursuing a very different course from his predecessor, Margo Georgiadis,” toy consultant Richard Gottlieb said of the former Mattel CEO, who stepped down after a year in the job.

“She wanted to put Mattel in the digital business and he wants to be in the media and film business,” Gottlieb said. “Hasbro has demonstrated the value of this approach brings.”

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