Mattel CEO is Looking For a Much Needed "Big Win" this Holiday Season

Margo Georgiadis, president of Americas at Google Inc., gestures as she speaks during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. This year's CES will be packed with a wide array of gadgets such as drones, connected cars, a range of smart home technology designed to make everyday life more convenient and quantum dot televisions, which promise better color and lower electricity use in giant screens. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

This is a high stakes time for Mattel’s new chief executive Margo Georgiadis.

The veteran Google executive, who took the CEO job in January, says she is counting on her first holiday season at the toymaker to be a “great” one. She needs a big win, especially now, as she is fighting off a takeover offer from rival Hasbro. Reportedly, Georgiadis has turned down the opening bid.

Christmas holiday sales are always a make or break time for retailers, and for Mattel it is crucial, because the company is in a financial crunch. Its latest quarterly report revealed a drop in revenues and big losses, forcing Geogiadis to cut the dividend. The bankruptcy filing by Toys “R” Us in September is also weighing on the company. On top of that, Mattel’s stock has tumbled about 40 percent so far this year.

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But speaking with Fortune ahead of the Hasbro news, Georgiadis said she’s upbeat about Mattel’s holiday sales. “Consumer sentiment is strong. The economy is doing quite well, and we find parents spend at the holidays,” she said.

Despite her many years at Google, don’t look for Georgiadis to stock techie toys on store shelves—at least not this holiday season. She’s promoting the iconic Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price brands – “Barbie’s Dream House”, says Geogiadis, will be one of Mattel’s must-have toys this Christmas, adding that “it will continue to be the biggest selling item,” as it has been for the past 50 years.


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