Richard Dickson leaves Mattel

Published on: 27th July 2023

Richard Dickson has stepped down as president and chief operating officer of Mattel, as senior promotions shore up the leadership team.

Richard has taken up a new position as president and chief operating officer of Gap Inc. Having rejoined Mattel in 2014, after departing the company in 2010, Richard rose to the position of president and COO. In this role, he led the company’s portfolio of global brands, overseeing innovation strategy, design and development, brand marketing and franchise management.

Under his leadership, the company developed and launched the Mattel Playbook, a brand-building approach that has been instrumental in growing Mattel’s power brands and accelerating Mattel’s transformation.

Richard delivered the keynote address at BLE 2022 last September, on Barbie. In an interview with our sister website following the speech, he spoke of managing Barbie as a pop-culture icon rather than a doll, and changing the limits of the brand. “We’re in a good place with Barbie, and the foundations are strong,” he explained, “which means we can stretch the narrative.”

His legacy will be leading a global corporate transformation to reinvigorate Mattel’s iconic brands, including Barbie, along with Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, as well as restoring the company to growth and reaffirming Mattel as an industry thought leader.

“Mattel is a remarkable company that is heading into an exciting new era,” Richard commented. “I’m immensely proud of the work we did together driving brand purpose, design innovation, cultural relevance, and executional excellence. I thank Ynon, the board, the leadership team, and the entire Mattel organization for their partnership and the incredible work we did together.”

Lisa McKnight has been promoted to executive VP and chief brand officer, overseeing all of Mattel’s toy categories and global brands, as well as design and development. She said “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 has also been promoted to executive VP and CFO, with an expanded role 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. “We have only begun to capture the tremendous commercial opportunity in Mattel’s world-class portfolio of IP,” he stated.

The company has also promoted Chris Down to executive VP and chief design officer, following 18 years with the company.

Mattel chairman and CEO, Ynon Kreiz said: “On behalf of our board and everyone at Mattel, I thank Richard for his tremendous contributions. 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.”

Ynon also hailed Mattel’s ‘strong and talented leadership team’, stating that it is in an excellent position to continue to execute the company’s strategy for growth. “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,” he added.

Richard Dickson concluded: “It has been an inspiring journey and a true honour to be part of this amazing community and company.”

Richard’s new role as president and COO at Gap will commence on 22nd August.



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