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Mattel Names Activist Shareholder to Board

March 02, 2000|Bloomberg News

Mattel Inc., whose shares have lost more than half their value in six months, said it named activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth to its board. Whitworth, 44, is managing member of Relational Investors, which owns 4.2 million Mattel shares. The private investment fund buys shares in under-performing companies and tries to help turn them around. The move comes as the world's largest toy maker searches for a new chief executive to replace Jill Barad, who quit last month after a three-year tenure marked by profit shortfalls, sluggish sales and executive departures. Shares in El Segundo-based Mattel fell 6 cents to close at $9.56 on the New York Stock Exchange. Whitworth is also chairman of Costa Mesa-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. and on the boards of Waste Management Inc., Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and Tektronix Inc.

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