Lego appoints new chief executive

Lego Swaps Out CEO Piece After Eight-Month Tenure

Too old for Lego? Chief executive Bali Padda replaced by Niels Christiansen

Lego A/S has jettisoned its chief executive after just eight months in the job, appointing a younger leader with digital experience in a surprise move it hopes will better position it for growth with the next generation of toys.

Danish toy company Lego has appointed Niels B. Christiansen, who headed thermostat-maker Danfoss for nine years, as its chief executive.

Lego's chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said the decision was not a reflection of Mr Padda's performance, but because he was not able to have a long tenure.

Christiansen said he was honored to join the company.

The search "went faster than expected", it said.

But while Lego now vies with Barbie doll maker Mattel to be the world's largest maker of toys, revenue growth slowed from 25 per cent in 2015 to just 6 per cent a year ago with sales of 37.9 billion Danish crowns (€5.4 billion). Padda will continue at Lego as a special adviser.

Mr Knudstorp said the transition to a new chief executive simply happened more rapidly than had been anticipated.

In a newly released statement, Knudstorp said, "Bali has been part of the Lego Group family for the past 15 years".

Before Danfoss, Mr Padda's replacement Mr Christiansen was head of hearing aid firm GN Store Nord.

Lego, a competitor to Mattel, has been focusing on manufacturing of colorful plastic internet locking bricks and minifigures.

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