Mattel UK has split its marketing director role into two “business unit managers” – a move that appears to downgrade the importance of marketing at the toy company.
Sara Reader and Simon Waldron, both experienced sales and marketing employees at Mattel UK, have been promoted to the roles, filling the vacuum left by the departure of former marketing director David Allmark (MW August 23, 2001).
The unusual job title mirrors Mattel’s US marketing department structure, according to a spokeswoman. Mattel UK has been run for the past year by Mattel UK general manager Eugene Murtha, a former head of marketing at Mattel US.
Mattel UK says nothing should be inferred from its decision not to replace Allmark directly. “We’re a big company now, so it makes sense to split the role,” says the spokeswoman.
Murtha says: “In our search for a marketing director it soon became clear that we had two exceptional candidates within the company, [both of whom] had the wealth of experience and existing knowledge of the business to take on the role of running the marketing department between them.”
Last year, he says, was the company’s best to date in the UK market, thanks to licensed properties such as Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh and Blue Clues, as well as new launches What’s Her Face and Miracle Baby. Mattel’s core brands – Barbie, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels – also enjoyed a “phenomenal” year.