Robert Eckert, the former Mattel Inc. chief executive who successfully grew sales at the El Segundo toy giant but stumbled in litigation against a competitor, has been named to Amgen Inc.’s board.
Eckert, 57, who left the top executive position at Mattel last year after 11 years, will serve on the audit and corporate responsibility and compliance committees of the Thousand Oak’s biotech.
“Bob has significant experience and a superb track record of leading global companies during a long and successful career,” said Amgen Chief Executive Robert Bradway, in a statement. “His contributions to the board will guide us as we expand our reach to more patients in more markets and continue creating value for out stockholders.”
Eckert, who remains non-executive chairman of Mattel, previously was head of Kraft Foods Inc., and also sits on the boards of McDonald’s Corp. and Levi Strauss & Co.
In the last two years under his leadership, Mattel’s profits grew 45 percent to $768 million on 15 percent growth in revenue to $6.2 billion. Much of the success came from selling Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels cars and other popular toys to overseas markets.
However, Eckert also aggressively pursued a high-profile lawsuit against Van Nuys competitor MGA Entertainment Inc. over ownership of the Bratz dolls, a Barbie competitor. Last August, a retrial ended in MGA’s favor, and Mattel was ordered to pay more than $309 million in damages. Mattel has appealed the verdict.
Amgen also announced that it has named Bradway chairman of the board, effective Jan. 1, when former chief executive Ken Sharer steps down.