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Mattel hires former Google executive as new CEO

Mattel, the company known for making Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and many other toys, has tapped Google’s president, Americas, Margaret H. Georgiadias, as chief executive officer. The appointment implies more future investments from Mattel in technology for interactive toys.

The brand first showed its ambitions on interactive toys when it introduced “Hello Barbie” in 2015, a fashion doll that adopted IoT technology to allow two-way conversations.

Effective on February 8, 2017, Georgiadias will succeed Christopher A. Sinclair as CEO and join Mattel’s board of directors to “build and scale brands on a global basis and expertise in effectively engaging consumers and retail partners in a rapidly evolving digital world,” the brand said in a press release.

Sinclair, who has led the company as chairman and CEO since early 2015, will serve as executive chairman of the board.

“Margo (Margaret) has successfully led efforts to deliver above market growth and profitability by creating transformational partnerships across content, media and technology providers and through innovation in product development and customer engagement.” Sinclair said, “As executive chairman, I will work with Margo, Richard Dickson and the rest of the executive team on the smoothest possible transition.”

Margaret’s prior roles at Google include leading global sales operations and expanding local and commerce businesses.

She has served as chief operating officer of Groupon, Inc., and executive vice president of card products and chief marketing officer of Discover Financial Services. She currently serves on the boards of directors of McDonald’s Corporation and Amyris, Inc.

“Inspiring children through play and creativity is crucial to early development and no company has done more in that space over many generations than Mattel. As a parent, I have seen this first hand and am honored to be joining the Company at this exciting time of renewed focus. I look forward to working with the incredibly talented people at Mattel as we build on recent momentum, leverage the unique creativity and passion that exists within Mattel to inspire future generations of children, and deliver on our promises to shareholders,” Margaret said in the release.

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