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Mattel boss forced out.

Mattel's embattled chief executive, Jill Barad, resigned yesterday after coming under fire for failing to revive falling sales and profits at the world's biggest toymaker.

Her departure comes as the Barbie company, based in El Segundo, California, reported a steep loss for the fourth quarter, disappointing Wall Street analysts for the third time in the past four quarters.

Ms Barad, one of the highest-ranking women in business, was under intense pressure from investors and Mattel's board of directors to explain big losses at the company's newly-acquired Learning Company software division and other troubles at Mattel.

With her resignation, the board of directors will take charge of the company to oversee operations and search for a new chief executive. The board appointed two of its own members to leadership roles - William Rollnick as acting chairman and Ronald Loeb as acting chief executive officer.

For the quarter ended December 31, Mattel reported a net loss of pounds 11.5 million, compared with profits of pounds 54.2 million in the same period a year ago.

Ms Barad joined Mattel in 1981 as a product manager in the novelty toy unit and took the helm in 1997 and helped to make Mattel the dominant toymaker in the world.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 4, 2000
Words:205
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