Mattel's (MAT) selection of Margaret Georgiadis as its new CEO very likely signals the toy maker's intention to increase its growth in technology. She was previously Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) president of the Americas.
"We think the choice of CEO, as well as new product announcements, suggests a growing focus on tech/connectivity," Jefferies analyst Trevor Young said in a recent research note.
Mattel announced the appointment of Georgiadis, 52, as CEO and to its board of directors on Jan. 17. She will take over on Feb. 8 from interim CEO Christopher A. Sinclair, 66, who will then serve as executive chairman of the company's board.
Georgiadis had served as Google's president of the Americas since September 2011. Before that she was the COO at e-commerce platform Groupon (GRPN) for about six months, and from October 2009 to April 2011 she was VP of global sales operations at Google, Mattel said in an SEC filing.
Georgiadis will receive an annual salary of $1.5 million plus $19.5 million in restricted stock options, and a long-term incentive grant value worth $8.3 million. Sinclair, who served as CEO for Mattel after the removal of Bryan Stockton in April 2015, will receive a salary of $1 million and a long-term incentive grant value of $3 million as executive chairman, according to the SEC filing.
"As a toy industry 'outsider,' Ms. Georgiadis may help Mattel shift from struggling to keep brands relevant to being an innovator," Young said in his note.
After Mattel lost the manufacturing rights to the Disney (DIS) Princess dolls to rival toy company Hasbro (HAS) last year, the Barbie maker appeared to be pushing itself more into the world of technology.
Early this month, Mattel introduced Aristotle, the $299 voice-control smart baby monitor, designed to adapt to meet the individual needs of children. Some of Aristotle's functions include ordering diapers when the stock runs low, lulling a baby back to sleep, leaving mom and dad undisturbed, and helping with homework as the baby grows into a toddler and teen.
"One thing is certain, this is emblematic of the 'new Mattel,'" BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson said in an earlier interview with TheStreet.
Meanwhile, in addition to her appointment to Mattel's board of directors, which increased its headcount to 11 from 10, Georgiadis sits on the boards of McDonald's (MCD) and biotech company Amyris (AMRS) .