Second Lego CEO in eight months

Second Lego CEO in eight months

The family-owned company announced it's replacing Bali Padda with Niels B. Christiansen, former CEO of the Danish industrial group Danfoss A/S. Padda was named LEGO's chief executive in January after his predecessor, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, became company chairman.

A Lego spokesman said Mr Christiansen, who left engineering company Danfoss at the end of June was the "perfect match" for the chief executive job at Lego.

Lego said the move wasn't due to performance, but rather due to Padda's age.

"It isn't [a humiliation]". "Bali knew that I would immediately look for a successor".

"I was just very fortunate that, relatively early, we found the right person", Knudstorp said.

Christiansen will contend with slowing growth at the toymaker: When his predecessor reported 2016 results he described the 5.5% revenue increase to DKK 37.9 billion ($6 billion) as "sustainable".

He added that Padda had made a significant contribution to the turnaround of the company after it approached near-collapse over a decade ago.

Lego is hoping Christiansen can revive its flagging growth by increasing sales in Asia and fully embracing the digital era. He also honed in on his experience in "digitalisation and globalisation, implementing a transformative strategy, and creating an agile, high performing, worldwide team".

LEGO, with 18,500 employees worldwide, has been locked in a years-long battle with rival Mattel to be the world's largest toy company.

Mr Padda, who was only appointed in December as part of a wide-ranging management shake-up, will retain a role at the firm as a special adviser. During his tenure with Danfoss, the company doubled in size to 39bn DKK (US$ 6.1bn) increased its global footprint and transformed its portfolio in response to changing customer demands.

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