LEGO appoints Niels Christiansen as CEO

LEGO appoints Niels Christiansen as CEO

Lego is jettisoning its chief executive after only eight months in the job, bringing in a younger person to steer the world's most profitable toymaker through the increasingly digital world of play.

Christiansen, formerly CEO of industrial technology company Danfoss, will replace Bali Padda, a longtime Lego executive.

When the toy market shrank after the financial crisis, Lego bucked the trend by tying up with movie franchises such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones in deals spanning Lego sets, video games, movie franchises and smartphone applications.

Padda, a 61-year-old India-born Brit and Lego's former chief operations officer, was only considered a temporary CEO. He has also been on the board of AP Moller-Maersk, Danske Bank and Bang & Olufsen.

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

Padda will now stay on to help Christiansen settle in at The LEGO Group and will then join Knudstrop as special adviser at the company continues to look at opportunities for the brand away from toys. "I suddenly saw a chance to shorten the process", Mr Knudstorp said.

"Bali has been part of the LEGO Group family for the past 15 years", he said.

Lego, a competitor to Mattel, has been focusing on manufacturing of colorful plastic internet locking bricks and minifigures. He's definitely not disappointed us.

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