The company has established a new division for the company, titled the LEGO Brand Group.
Danish toy maker Lego has announced a management shake-up to develop the brand beyond its iconic plastic bricks under the leadership of its veteran chief who brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy.
Chief executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp took over Lego when it was on verge of collapse in 2004 and transformed it into one of the industry’s biggest success stories, but he will step down by the end of the year to head a new unit focusing on the Lego brand, called Lego Brand Group, the company said.
“With our recent growth and globalisation come new and exciting opportunities for the brand,” deputy chairman and fourth generation owner Thomas Kirk Kristiansen said in a statement.
“We establish the Lego Brand Group to look into these new opportunities,” he said.
Lego’s colourful toy blocks have proved resilient to the rise of digital devices which is battering the traditional toy industry, but the company has also been adept at using different channels to engage with children.
The group has allowed partners to develop branded video games, a Hollywood blockbuster, television shows and theme parks.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, chief executive officer, LEGO Group, will chair the new entity in close partnership with deputy chair, Kirk Kristiansen. Additionally, due to his new position, the board of directors of LEGO A/S will nominate Vig Knudstorp to become chairman of the board in May 2017.
Niels Jacobsen, present chairman of the board of directors, LEGO A/S, will continue in his role as deputy chairman in KIRKBI A/S.
“Over the past 12 years, Vig Knudstorp has developed an outstanding knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges for the LEGO Group and the LEGO brand,” says Jacobsen. “Now is the right time to use Jørgen’s capacity in a broader role. I look forward to continue working with Jørgen in the future and to continue my work with Kjeld and Thomas Kirk Kristiansen in the KIRKBI A/S board of directors.”
Additionally, Bali Padda, currently chief operations officer, the LEGO Group, has been appointed to replace Vig Knudstorp as CEO and will take on his new role, Jan. 1, 2017.