Eckert, 57, has held the post at Mattel for 11 years. From January 1st, 2012, current chief operating officer, Bryan Stockton (pictured), 58, will take over the CEO role.
Eckert will remain chairman at the toy giant. Before he joined Mattel in 2000, he was president and CEO at Kraft Foods.
"The board respects Bob's decision to step back at this time, and wants to recognise the superb job he's done the past 11 years in building a high performance culture at Mattel and delivering truly superior shareholder returns. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy of integrity and success," said Christopher Sinclair, independent presiding director for Mattel.
"We're also grateful that Bob has agreed to serve as non-executive chairman and support Bryan in a seamless transition. Finally, we are delighted to have an experienced and proven leader like Bryan assume the CEO position. He's been a key architect behind Mattel's rapid international growth and has also helped to shape many of the company's recent growth initiatives. We're confident that he'll build on Bob's record of innovation and success."
Eckert commented: "Simply stated, I have loved working at Mattel, and it has been my privilege to work alongside the most talented and dedicated people in the toy business. Our employees have built this company into what it is today. While my decision to retire has not been an easy one, I am confident that we have the momentum in the marketplace and the leadership in place to take the company to the next level.
"Bryan has a proven track record as not only a great operational leader, but also as a seasoned strategist. Under Bryan's leadership, I am confident that the company will realise its strategic vision to truly create the future of play."
Stockton concluded: "I want to thank the board and Bob for this incredible opportunity to advance the Mattel legacy. And on behalf of the 30,000 employees of Mattel, I want to thank Bob for his 11 years of leadership marked by financial discipline, global expansion and a commitment to employee development,
"As we move forward today, we remain focused on four keys to delivering success: developing strategies to grow our business; optimising our structure to move forward; developing our people; and creating an innovative culture. This is an exciting time to be working at Mattel, as we evolve the company from toy to play; from product management to franchise management, and from worldwide leader to a global leader."