NEW YORK — Richard Dickson, former president and chief executive officer of branded businesses at The Jones Group Inc., will return to his former stomping ground: He has been tapped as chief brands officer of Mattel, with oversight for worldwide brand strategy across the company’s portfolio.
Dickson will be responsible for growing and strengthening Mattel’s brands, such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends.
Most recently, Dickson has been a consultant to Sycamore Partners, which acquired Jones last month for $2.2 billion and broke the company down into its constituent parts. As a result of the acquisition, Dickson stepped down as ceo of Jones’ branded businesses due to the decentralized nature of the new group and was exploring new opportunities.
Dickson will report to Bryan Stockton, ceo of Mattel, based in El Segundo, Calif., and will serve as a member of the company’s executive leadership team.
While he was at Jones, the company acquired a string of brands such as Stuart Weitzman, Brian Atwood and Kurt Geiger, which all were under Dickson’s purview. Dickson also oversaw the launch of such lines as QMack, an exclusive collection for Millennials at Macy’s, and introduced a shoe collection for Nine West with InStyle magazine. He also spearheaded several initiatives to help revitalize the core Jones label, including trying to create a stronger point of view through the company’s advertising, marketing and in-store presentations.
Following his departure as ceo of the branded businesses, Dickson received $2.2 million for his Jones stock and $9.2 million for the restricted shares he held when the deal closed. He also stood to receive a change-in-control that could have reached as high as $6.9 million if his employment was technically terminated by Sycamore.
Before joining Jones in 2000, Dickson was senior vice president and general manager of Mattel’s Barbie unit and is widely credited with turning around the Barbie brand. He oversaw the brand’s expansion into a variety of new categories such as entertainment, digital-online and retail. Earlier, he was vice president of brand management and merchandising for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.’s online business and launched Gloss.com, which was acquired by Lauder in 2000. He previously spent more than 10 years in a variety of positions at Bloomingdale’s.