Troubled toy maker Mattel Inc. announced an overhaul of its top ranks Tuesday with a roster of industry outsiders -- including a new financial chief.
The moves come as recently named chief executive Margo Georgiadis attempts to turnaround a company that has stumbled to keep pace in the digital arena.
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Mattel said Joseph Euteneuer, former CFO at Sprint Corp., has taken over for long-serving financial head Kevin Farr, who spent about 17 years in the role.
"He has been instrumental in leading companies in a variety of industries through times of transformation and turnaround, which will be invaluable for Mattel," said Ms. Georgiadis in a statement. Ms. Georgiadis, a former executive for Alphabet Inc.'s Google, has been with Mattel since February.
Mr. Euteneuer served as Sprint's CFO for a little more than four years, leaving the role in August 2015. He became co-CEO and CFO for the Americas of Rivada Networks, a Virginia-based spectrum trading company last spring. A company spokesman said Mr. Euteneuer will remain on Rivada's board.
Mr. Euteneuer also held CFO roles at two companies before their mergers, Qwest Communications before its tie-up with CenturyLink Inc., and XM Satellite Radio before its merger with Sirius.
He might have a steep learning curve at Mattel. All of Mr. Euteneuer's noteworthy experience comes from the telecom industry, which is a different business model to a consumer product company like Mattel, said Linda Bolton Weiser, senior analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co.
"We know that Mattel is increasingly involved with digitally communicating with the consumer, but I would still say there's a big difference between the business of Sprint and the business of Mattel," Ms. Bolton Weiser said.
A Mattel spokesman reiterated Ms. Georgiadis's statement about the company's new executives. "Our focus is on attracting the best and most capable leaders to Mattel," the spokesman said.
Mattel posted a net loss of $56.1 million for the three months ended June 30, a steeper loss than the $19.1 million the company lost in the same period of 2016. The company also said it would cut its dividend -- beginning in the third quarter -- by more than half aiming to free up funds to modernize its brands for the digital world and expand in emerging markets.
Ms. Bolton Weiser forecasts that Mattel will have a weak third quarter, and round out the year with earnings per share of 47 cents.
"I'm not seeing why someone would be overly eager to come into that type of situation," she said.
Separately, Mattel announced Tuesday the filling of various high-ranking roles, including Sven Gerjets as chief technology officer, Amy Thompson as chief people officer and Nancy Elder as chief communication officer. None have previously worked in the toy industry.
"One of the keys to our success is attracting forward-thinking leaders who believe in our vision and bring a fresh perspective and strong skill set to Mattel," Ms. Georgiadis said in the statement.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 03, 2017 19:25 ET (23:25 GMT)