Mattel Barbie Guru Richard Dickson Named CEO of Gap Inc.

On July 26, Gap Inc. announced that they will appoint Mattel’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Richard Dickson, as CEO beginning next month.

Dickson joined Mattel in 2000. As COO, he has led a portfolio of global brands, overseeing innovation strategy, design development, brand marketing, and franchise management. Under his leadership, Mattel developed and launched the Mattel Playbook, a brand-building approach that has allowed the company to grow its power brands.

Prior to Mattel, Dickson was President and CEO of The Jones Group’s Brand Business, where he led global design and development; including marketing, merchandising, wholesale, retail, and e-commerce. Dickson brought new relevance to outdated fashion labels and new brand acquisitions and development.

In addition, he co-founded, the first online retailer specializing in luxury cosmetics, and has served as an executive at Bloomingdale’s.

In recent years, Dickson’s leadership has also been instrumental in breathing new life into legacy brands such as Barbie, Fisher-Price, and Hot Wheels. His accomplishments are most evident in the box office success of the record-breaking movie “Barbie,” which was released in theaters on July 21.

Gap hopes Dickson’s help will revitalize currently underperforming brands such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.

Mayo A. Shattuck III, lead independent director of Gap’s board, said in a statement that Richard has invaluable expertise in areas critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term.

Bobby Martin, who served as interim head of the company after former head Sonia Syngal stepped down last summer, will return as chairman of the board.

“Gap Inc. has a rich heritage, with brands that have great meaning in people’s lives. Amidst a deliberate and thoughtful search process, it became clear that Richard is destined for this role at this moment. His experience as a proven transformational brand builder and belief in the power of inclusivity, make him a perfect fit for Gap Inc.” Martin said in a statement.

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