Playing at Mattel
Janet Hsu is shaking things up at the nearly 75-year-old toy company, taking a multidimensional approach to how the company extends its reach and builds franchises.
Mattel has been hard at work building and strengthening its organization in the face of rapid change at retail and amongst consumers.
Instrumental in its new approach is Janet Hsu, chief franchise management officer. Appointed to the role in 2018, Hsu, an industry veteran with a career pedigree that spans senior management roles at Saban Brands, where she served as chief executive officer, and Sanrio, where she held the role of chief operating officer, holds responsibilities including the development and implementation of franchise strategy across the company's portfolio of iconic brands such as Fisher-Price, Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl and more. (This is actually Hsu's second stop at Mattel, having first joined the company in the early 2000s.)
"As we continue to transform Mattel into a high-performing toy company, we are taking big steps to further strengthen our executive leadership team," said Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer, Mattel, upon Hsu's appointment in August 2018. "Janet's proven track record and expertise in expanding established global brands make her ideally suited to help Mattel extend its iconic properties in new and relevant ways that continue to move with our consumer. I am confident that Janet is the right leader to help ensure we are maximizing the value of our brands."
"What brought me to Mattel was the opportunity to start a whole new division that hadn't existed," says Hsu. "For me, it's really exciting because the division is very 360 but encompasses many different levers of engagement for our brands and consumers. As the world and the industry evolves, and as content consumption changes, so does product engagement and the way we connect. I'm excited to be in a role that takes this amazing IP–I really believe Mattel has the best IP library in terms of evergreen and nostalgia across different genres–and drives connection in new and meaningful ways outside of just toys."
And finding new ways to connect with consumers and fans from a 360-degree, multidimensional approach is key to not only Hsu's core role, but a driving focus for the company as it moves forward.