By Cheechee Lin
Bryan Stockton, former chairman and CEO of Mattel Inc., joined Anderson at the Latin American Business Conference to speak about “the ups and downs and the ups again” of Latin America’s economy.
Stockton served as the chief executive officer of Mattel Inc. from January 1, 2012 through January 25, 2015.He oversaw the day-to-day operations of Mattel, ensuring the success of brands such as Barbie®, HotWheels® and Fisher-Price®. Stockton was specifically appointed to this position to accelerate growth and scale, particularly in Brazil.
“I believe there is tremendous potential to accelerate growth and the possibility to create scale so that the Latin America Region can be as independent and successful as the states in Europe and America,” Stockton said. “We need to be ready for the next economic upswing in this market.”
At the time of Stockton’s hire, Mattel was facing two dollars of profit loss with every one and a half dollars of toy sales revenue. “I know that you’re the only one strong enough to close Brazil,” he recalled from his hiring committee saying. With expectations that high this opportunity could have been “career ending,” Stockton said; but he was confident he could create a strategy to succeed not just in Brazil, but all of Latin America. The strategic understanding and planning Stockton undertook allowed him to convince his boss of a strategy to better adapt to the entire Latin American market.
Stockton was successful, eventually growing sales of Mattel’s toys in Latin America by a factor of five. Mattel became the largest consumer-licensed product company in the Latin America space during his tenure. Stockton attributed this success to the strategic in-country execution, adoption of the brand across the region, simplification of the product line and the ability to find the best talent in Latin America. The fluidity in his execution, coupled with his strength of a thorough understanding of the market, enabled Mattel to succeed.
Stockton closed his keynote with the parting words, “I believe that, in 10 years, Latin America is going to look very different. I truly believe the region is going to evolve and position itself for more success in the future.”