Richard Dickson Appointed President And Chief Executive Officer Of Gap

With Dickson leaving Mattel, Josh Silverman and Lisa McKnight have been promoted to new roles.

License Global

July 26, 2023

5 Min Read
Richard Dickson.
Richard Dickson.Gap Inc.

Gap announced that its board of directors has appointed Richard Dickson as the company’s president and chief executive officer, effective Aug. 22. 

“Richard has invaluable expertise in areas critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term. And we are thrilled to have his visionary leadership as the company redefines the future potential of Gap Inc. and its renowned American fashion brands,” says Mayo A. Shattuck III, lead independent director, Gap Inc. “On behalf of the Gap Inc. board and management team, I want to thank Bobby Martin for serving as Interim CEO during this important time, and the teams who have moved quickly to simplify the company’s operating model, increase the speed and quality of decision making, and restore its creative muscle – work that will pay back for years to come.” 

Dickson will join Gap from his most recent role as president and chief operating officer, Mattel, where he was a lead architect in a global corporate transformation that has reinvigorated Mattel’s brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, as well as restored the company to growth and reaffirmed Mattel as an industry thought leader. Dickson was appointed to the Gap board of directors in November 2022. 

“Gap Inc. is a portfolio of iconic brands, known for having defined American style with bold thinking and making quality fashion accessible to millions,” says Dickson. “But it’s the work ahead that excites me most – the chance to work hand-in-hand with the teams to evolve Gap Inc. for a new era. Under Bobby’s leadership, the team has begun to truly reset the company for long-term success, establishing a new foundation that I’m eager to build on.” 

Prior to Mattel, Dickson was president and chief executive officer, Branded Businesses, The Jones Group, where he led global design and development, including marketing and merchandising, wholesale, retail and e-commerce. Dickson also co-founded, the first online retailer dedicated to high-end cosmetics, and served as an executive at Bloomingdale’s. 

With Dickson stepping away, Lisa McKnight has been named 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, Mattel. The company has also promoted Chris Down to executive vice president and chief design officer, reporting to McKnight. 

“On behalf of our board and everyone at Mattel, I thank Richard for his tremendous contributions,” says Kreiz. “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. 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.” 

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 Barbie’s transformation and driven significant portfolio expansion. 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.  

“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,” says McKnight. “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, 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 Truck 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.  

“We have only begun to capture the tremendous commercial opportunity in Mattel’s world-class portfolio of IP,” says Silverman. “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 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. 



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