Lego ap­points new CEO to re­place in­terim boss

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

Dan­ish toy com­pany Lego has ap­pointed Niels B. Chris­tiansen, who headed ther­mo­stat-maker Dan­foss for nine years, as its chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Chris­tiansen re­places Bali Padda, who took over as in­terim CEO in Jan­uary. Padda will hold a “special ad­vi­sory” role within the group.

Chair­man Jo­er­gen Vig Knud­storp said Thurs­day that said Chris­tiansen, 51, will start Oct. 1.

Lego said Chris­tiansen be­came chief ex­ec­u­tive of Dan­ish au­dio so­lu­tions maker GN Net­com at the age of 33, and joined the fam­ily-owned Dan­foss in 2004. He be­came its head four years later, a job he held un­til June.

“He trans­formed a tra­di­tional in­dus­trial com­pany into a tech­nol­ogy leader,” said Vig Knud­storp - a former Lego CEO him­self - adding he was con­fi­dent the toy­maker “will con­tinue to flour­ish” un­der Chris­tiansen.

In March, Lego said its 2016 rev­enue grew 6 per cent to 37.9 bil­lion kro­ner ($6 bil­lion), the high­est fig­ure in the com­pany’s 85-year his­tory. The pri­vately held group’s net profit rose to 9.4 bil­lion kro­ner ($1.5 bil­lion).

Padda, a 61-year-old In­di­a­born Brit and Lego’s former chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, was only con­sid­ered a tem­po­rary CEO. In a state­ment, Vig Knud­storp said the tran­si­tion to find a new CEO “oc­curred more rapidly” than an­tic­i­pated.

Padda, who joined Lego in 2002 in En­field, Connecticut, was praised by Vig Knud­storp, who said Padda “played an in­te­gral role in the turn­around of the Lego Group and dur­ing his time as CEO cre­ated a solid foun­da­tion from which to con­tinue to trans­form the com­pany.”

MAR­CUS TRAPPAUD BJOERN/AP VIA RITZAU

Niels B. Chris­tiansen is shown in this June 27, 2013 file photo.

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