Lego axes CEO after just 8 months

Lego CEO

Lego has announced it would axe its chief executive Bali Padda after just eight months in the role, bringing in the former head of Danish industrial group Danfoss to succeed him.

According to the Financial Times, Lego is adamant that the appointment was not due to Padda‘s performance, but rather due to his age.

Padda who is 61 and a British national, will now be replaced by Niels Christiansen who is 10 years his junior.

“It isn‘t (a humiliation). He‘s definitely not disappointed us,” Lego chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp told the Financial Times.

“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.”

Knudstorp, who himself acted as chief executive for 12 years, added that due to his age he was only ever expected to act as chief executive for a few years.

READ MORE:  Lego welcomes new UK VP and general manager

Meanwhile, Christiansen will be faced with a slowdown in sales after what has been a monumental revival in popularity for the toy manufacturer and retailer.

Last year it saw sales rise six per cent, down significantly from the 18 per cent average growth seen in the previous decade.

Padda will reportedly stay on for a transitional period to familiarise the new boss with the role, and will subsequently join the chairman as special advisor at the Lego Brand Group, a new venture focusing on opportunities outside of the toy market.

Christiansen departed Danfoss in March, stating he was looking for a new challenge which reportedly sped up the process for his new appointment.

At Danfoss he is credited with increasing revenues by 50 per cent after nine years in the role, leading Knudstorp to dub him “one of the strongest CEOs of his generation”.

Mr Christiansen added: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to join an organisation as iconic and mission-driven as the Lego Group”‰.”‰.”‰.”‰As I look at the challenges facing this generation of children, the group‘s purpose — to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow — is more important and urgent than ever.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter