LEGO appoints new CEO

Briton Bali Padda has been swapped out for Niels Christiansen just eight months into the role.
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LEGO has appointed a new CEO just eight months after placing Bali Padda within the executive position.

The Danish toy maker has swapped in a younger person to steer the company through what is becoming an increasingly digital world of play.

Padda, the 61 year old Briton who began work as LEGO’s first non-Danish chief executive in January will be replaced on October 1st by Niels Christiansen, a 51 year old former chief executive of the Danish industrial group, Danfoss.

LEGO’s chairman, Jorgen Vig Knudstrop revealed that Padda’s short tenure was not down to his performance but ‘a realisation that, because of his age, he could do the job for a few years at most.’

“It isn’t [a humiliation]. He’s definitely not disappointed us. Bali knew that I would immediately look for a successor. Both Bali and I thought it would take a long time as it’s not a trivial matter. I was just very fortunate that, relatively early, we found the right person,” said Knudstrop.

LEGO sales increased six per cent last year to a record DKr 37.9bn or $6bn.

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.

“[Christiansen] is one of the strongest CEO’s of his generation and has made a remarkable turnaround in Danfoss, taking it from industrial technology to digital technology,” added Knudstrop.

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