Mattel removes CEO, warns of fifth straight fall in quarterly sales

Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:18pm EST
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By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) - Mattel Inc (MAT.O: Quote) removed Chief Executive Brian Stockton after another disappointing holiday shopping season for the maker of the aging Barbie doll.

The company, which also warned of a fifth straight drop in quarterly sales, has struggled in recent years as young girls shun nearly 56-year old Barbie in favor of electronic toys, tablets and toys based on popular films.

On Monday, Mattel cited a strong dollar as a major factor behind a decline in revenue in the fourth quarter.

The company did not provide a breakdown on sales of Barbie or other products.

Stockton leaves after three years as CEO and two as chairman. Former PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote) executive Christopher Sinclair, 64, was appointed chairman and interim CEO.

Mattel's shares fell as much as 11 percent to a three-year low before recovering to trade down about 4 percent in afternoon trading.

Stockton's abrupt departure follows two years of lower-than-expected holiday sales.

"...The board believes that it is the right time for new leadership," Sinclair, a longtime board member, said in a statement.   Continued...

Barbie dolls are displayed inside a showroom at a Mattel office in Hong Kong January 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip