Robert A. Eckert will retire as Mattel's chief executive officer after 11 years with the company, effective Dec. 31. The Board has named Bryan G. Stockton, current chief operating officer, to succeed Eckert, effective Jan. 1.
Eckert has agreed to continue in his role as chairman of the board, with Stockton joining the board as a member.
Eckert joined the company in May 2000 as chairman and chief executive officer from Kraft Foods. Under his leadership, Mattel delivered generated $8.2 billion in cash through year-end 2010, which was used to strengthen the balance sheet and return about $4.6 billion to shareholders.
For the past year, Stockton has served as chief operating officer. Stockton joined Mattel in November 2000 as executive vice president of business planning and development. He gained responsibility for international in 2003, and was promoted to president of international in 2007. Under Stockton's management, the division increased its total contribution to Mattel's annual sales from 36 percent to nearly 50 percent.
"Simply stated, I have loved working at Mattel, and it has been my privilege to work alongside the most talented and dedicated people in the toy business," says Eckert. "While my decision to retire has not been an easy one, I am confident that we have the momentum in the marketplace and the leadership in place to take the company. Stockton has a proven track record as not only a great operational leader, but also as a seasoned strategist. Under Stockton's leadership, I am confident that the company will realize its strategic vision to truly create the future of play."
"I want to thank the Board and Eckert for this incredible opportunity to advance the Mattel legacy," says Stockton. "And on behalf of the 30,000 employees of Mattel, I want to thank Eckert for his 11 years of leadership marked by financial discipline, global expansion and a commitment to employee development. This is an exciting time to be working at Mattel, as we evolve the company from toy to play; from product management to franchise management, and from worldwide leader to a global leader."