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President Is the Latest Exec to Leave Mattel

March 24, 2000|ABIGAIL GOLDMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mattel Inc. President Ned Mansour, a 21-year veteran of the El Segundo-based toy maker, told employees Thursday that he will leave the company at the end of the month.

His departure leaves open the top two executive posts at the troubled company. In February, Chief Executive Jill Barad resigned after Mattel's most expensive acquisition, the $3.6-billion purchase of Learning Co., continued to drag down earnings and the company's stock price.

Mansour, 51, was named president last year, a promotion that many on Wall Street saw as an attempt to reassure investors and others that despite mounting troubles, Mattel still was in capable hands. Mansour previously served as president of Mattel USA, president of corporate operations, chief administrative officer and general counsel. He will become a consultant to Mattel.

In a memo to employees on Thursday, Mansour said that the decision to leave was a "painful" one and that he is looking forward to traveling and spending time with his family.

Mattel has lost a host of senior executives over the last year, and is being run on an interim basis by two board members.

Learning Co. racked up nearly $300 million in losses, sinking Mattel's profit and stock price, which hit a seven-year-low earlier this month of $9.06. In New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday, Mattel gained 19 cents, to close at $10.50.

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