Is Mattel CEO "Resignation" A Sign Of Things To Come For Retail Execs?

In the three years since Bryan Stockton took over as CEO of Mattel, the company's revenues have tumbled and debt load has soared over 30% as - despite share buyback bonanzas, the stock price has greatly rotated to unchanged since Jan 2012 when he took over. However, what is most important about today's "resignation" is it accompanied dramatic guide down on earnings as, among other things, Barbie doll sales collapsed 21% in Q3



As The Wall Street Journal reports,

Mattel Inc. said Monday that Chief Executive Bryan Stockton has resigned after three years in the top executive post, as the struggling toy company also posted disappointing preliminary results for its fourth quarter.


Christopher A. Sinclair, who has served on the toy company’s board since 1996, has been named chairman and interim chief executive.


“Mattel is an exceptional company with a great future, but the board believes that it is the right time for new leadership to maximize its potential,” Mr. Sinclair said in a news release.




The leadership shuffle came as Mattel posted a preliminary profit in its fourth quarter of 44 cents a share. Sales fell 6% to $1.99 billion. Wall Street had expected 88 cents a share in earnings and $2.14 billion in sales, according to FactSet.


Mattel has struggled in recent quarters as its Barbie doll has fallen out of style. Sales of the iconic fashion doll fell a staggering 21% in the third quarter, contributing to a 22% drop in profits and an 8% decline in sales for the toy maker.

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So the question now is, will every retail 'miss' be accompanied by a CEO 'execution' or is this widespread weakness - despite the unambiguously good low oil price tax cut - merely transitory and Q1 will be awesome...?