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Mattel Names Telecom Veteran as New CFO

Former Sprint CFO Joseph Enteneuer joins the toymaker as it attempts a turnaround after struggling "to keep pace in the digital arena."
Matthew HellerOctober 4, 2017

Toymaker Mattel has appointed Joseph Euteneuer, an executive with extensive experience in telecommunications, to replace Kevin Farr as CFO.

Farr left Mattel last week after serving 17 years as finance chief. Euteneuer joins the company from spectrum trading company Rivada Networks, where he was co-CEO and CFO for the Americas. He previously served for four years as CFO at Sprint.

“Joe brings a strong track record of helping companies implement new strategies to improve long-term growth and profitability and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team,” Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis said in a news release.

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“He has been instrumental in leading companies in a variety of industries through times of transformation and turnaround, which will be invaluable for Mattel as we execute our new growth strategy,” she added.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Euteneuer’s appointment comes as Georgiadis “attempts to turn around a company that has stumbled to keep pace in the digital arena.” Mattel posted a net loss of $56.1 million for the three months ended June 30, compared to a year-ago loss of $19.1 million.

Euteneuer has worked as a finance executive for more than four decades. Before joining Sprint in 2011, he served as CFO at Qwest, XM Satellite Radio, and Comcast.

“It’s truly a great opportunity to join Mattel as it executes its new growth strategy to build upon its leadership position and shape the future of the toy industry,” he said. “Mattel is an iconic brand and household name for learning and development through play. I look forward to working with the team to future-proof the company and accelerate change.”

Linda Bolton Weiser, senior analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co., suggested, however, that Euteneuer may face a “steep learning curve” adapting to the consumer business model of a company like Mattel after so long in the telecom industry.

“We know that Mattel is increasingly involved with digitally communicating with the customer, but I would still say there’s a big difference between the business of Sprint and the business of Mattel,” she told the WSJ.