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.