Mattel Chairman and CEO Bryan Stockton has resigned after the struggling maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars reported fourth-quarter results that fell far short of analyst expectations.
Shares of the El Segundo, Calif., company slumped Monday after it announced preliminary numbers for the quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season, the lifeblood of any toymaker.
The company said board member Christopher A. Sinclair will replace Stockton as chairman and interim CEO. Sinclair, 64, has served on Mattel’s board since 1996.
The company has struggled for several quarters now with slumping sales of its Barbie dolls. Barbie sales fell 21 percent in Mattel’s third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The drop15 percent in the second quarter.
Making matters worse, late last year, Barbie lost its top spot on the crucial holiday wish lists of girls to merchandise from the Disney hit Frozen. The National Retail Federation’s Holiday Top Toys Survey found that 1 in 5 parents planned to buy Frozen merchandise for their girls. That beat the 16.8 percent who said they were looking to make a Barbie purchase.
The toymaker disclosed that its net income tumbled 59 percent, to $149.9 million, from $369.2 million in the three months that ended Dec. 31. Mattel earned 44 cents per share in the most recent quarter, or 52 cents per share not counting hits from taxes and costs tied to its acquisition of Mega Bloks owner Mega Brands.
Revenue fell 6 percent to $1.99 billion partially because of foreign exchange rates.
Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of 91 cents per share on $2.14 billion in revenue, according to the data firm FactSet.
Mattel will announce full results from its quarter Friday.
Stockton became CEO in January 2012 and was named chairman a year later. Sinclair said in a statement from the company that the Mattel board believed it was the right time for a change in leadership to maximize the company’s potential. The company’s stock fell 4.3 percent, or $1.22, to $26.83 on Monday afternoon