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Mattel's Planning Executive Resigns

December 18, 1987|DENISE GELLENE

Raymond W. Ferris, 56, has left his job as executive vice president for strategic planning at Mattel in what the toy company described as a "mutual decision."

Ferris, a 15-year veteran of Mattel's executive ranks, also resigned from the company's board .

A Mattel spokesman said Ferris "planned himself out of a job." The spokesman, Shel Holtz, said Ferris came up with a plan for Hawthorne-based Mattel that called for the elimination of his own job and that the plan was accepted. Details of Ferris' severance package were not disclosed.

In a telephone interview, Ferris said he thought the strategic planning department at Mattel wasn't needed. "It was a very tough decision," he said. He said there were no other high-level jobs available at Mattel. He earned $340,885 in salary and bonus last year.

Ferris' sudden departure comes as the company is mired in losses and is laying off employees to reduce costs. "It looks like they've cut the fat and now they are cutting into the muscle," said Gregory H. Kisselman, an analyst with Morgan, Olmstead, Kennedy & Gardner.

Richard J. Riordan, a Mattel director, said in a telephone interview that the board wasn't unhappy with Ferris. "It's my understanding that this (strategic planning)wasn't where he wanted his career to go."

Ferris joined Mattel in 1972 as an assistant general counsel and quickly rose through the corporate ranks. In 1986, he became part of a three-man triumvirate that ran the company after Arthur S. Spear retired as chairman. In February, John W. Amerman, also a triumvirate member, emerged as chairman. The third triumvirate member, Thomas J. Kalinske, resigned to become president of Universal Matchbox, a toy company.

Ferris filled in as Mattel's chief financial officer, a post that was vacant at the time. "His background isn't in finance, and when we found a finance professional, he moved into strategic planning," Riordan said.

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