On November 5, 2009, Robert Eckert, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Mattel, Incorporated, visited with David Smith, PhD, Associate Dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, to answer these questions and more.
Bob joined Mattel in May 2000 from Kraft Foods, Inc. A 23-year veteran of Kraft, he most recently served as its president and chief executive officer. Bob received a BS in business administration from the University of Arizona and an MBA in marketing and finance from Northwestern University. He serves on the McDonald’s Corporation Board of Directors, the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Advisory Board at Northwestern University, and the Board of Visitors at The Anderson School at UCLA.
Questions for Mr. Eckert
- How do you balance your career, family life, and personal needs? How do you address work/life balance with those who report to you?
- What was your career plan when you received your MBA?
- What are your core responsibilities as a CEO and how do you prioritize?
- What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced as a CEO? What have you learned as CEO that has surprised you?
- What is your personality type and how does that impact your leadership style?
- Today’s employees change jobs more frequently than ever before. How does this trend impact Mattel?
- How do concerns over the lack of environmental compliance from China affect Mattel?
- How is its business model being impacted by the declining dollar?
- In what ways does the success or failure of Mattel products impact the world?
- What do you see in the future for the toy industry?
- What are your core values as a leader?
- What’s the last book you read?
- What do you see in terms of your legacy for Mattel?