It was one of the saddest thing I ever saw. The death of Fisher-Price because of the arrogance and ignorance of Mattel management. I know that much like this has been posted before, but I feel the need to say it again, in my own words. Fisher-Price was a wonderful company, with everyone working together for a common goal, which was to make the best toys. Ever. There was a team there, in East Aurora, that was envied by other toy companies, and was truly the best of the best. It was a culture that knew that the designers and engineers were the main driving force, and the rest of us were the "bean counters", but were happy to be in that role. When Mattel bought Fisher-Price, we (Fisher-Pricers) were sad, but thought maybe "they" would leave us alone. After all, didn't we know the baby/preschool business, and didn't "they" buy us for our expertise? Fast forward to the NAD/GBT fiasco. And Project Propel. Every management decision in the last few years has been a disaster. We at Fisher-Price had a solid management team with a true understanding of the business. The very saddest thing is that Mattel took our proud company into the toilet. And there's no coming back. As I read in one of these posts...and I paraphrase..."and they wrecked our culture, too".
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Hmmm and I thought the improper relationship ended with MW and JC (now JW).
there are 4 people who stay late and have improper relations in the NY office on the regular. one is in management. 2 co-workers caught them at different occasions but just peeped on them. no one wants to step forward and rat because 80s chick won't have their back.
To the last poster: Tell us something we haven't known for the past 6 years.
Listen, fisher-price blows. The toys are cheap crap and most parents nowadays aren't investing in the brand because disposable income isn't what it used to be with the ever increasing prices. They are not going to buy plastic watch me crap when they know that that their kids are going to lose interest in minutes. They're not impressed. They are smarter, but FP isn't and that the problem. They'd just as soon give their kids an iPad and a gift card and be done with it. So keep bringing in the bored housewives and give them other moms to talk to and a voucher for the toy store. The only thing that benefits from mom talks is the added lifespan to their hitachi vibrators and their nannies not having to hear their endless cawing and the opportunity to rifle through their jewelry drawers.
Buy a vowel, get a clue, do something but please stop recycling the same garbage year after year with a new "twist!" No one is impressed no matter how many of your peers clap after the amateurish sizzle is played and the feigned ooo's and aaaah's fade into the distance. I'd just as soon give my kid a corn husk with a face drawn on with a sharpee and let them use their imagination then insult them with a toy that has the play value lifespan of a mosquito.
Sad that nothing has changed for the better. Upper management has become more dysfunctional to the point that no one really cares or believes in any of their BS initiatives. it's a joke when we see the videos and presentations about our bright future of innovation and hope knowing it's upper management lip service to keep their own jobs secure. EA was fun, active, communal. now it's led by clueless buzz word fanatics who could care less about anyone but themselves.
Amazing to read this post from two years ago only to see how much worse it has become.
Yes, current management is definitely hurting Fisher-Price. From the EVP and SVP's down to VP's and Directors. Indecisive, stagnant, risk averse. Everyone throws around the term innovation and trust me, there has been plenty of innovation at Fisher-Price over the years, however when it's presented to senior management, they recoil and don't want the risk associated. FP (and Mattel for that matter) is not a disrupter in the marketplace and hasn't been in a very long time. Management at both Mattel and Fisher-Price are not competent to be in the positions they are in and it's completely destroying the business. Clean house and fast.
Change is needed in east aurora. Sorry, but it's true. Years of Neil protecting or promoting mediocre people, an outdated financial view based on annuity product vs new (bubble mower unchanged) and a lack of cracking any real international sales - that's what is hurting FP. Lack of leaders is why core is in the trouble it's in and it will be a hellish turnaround but needed. Change is painful but after years of FP management taking their eye off the ball, things need to change. It's not 1994 anymore and it won't be again.
Let's be honest, where else are you going to go in that podunk town in EA? Vindler's? Shut up and get on your knees and swallow the load your west coast overlord blows in your mouth while he changes his mind in that mercurial A.D.D. fashion that along with grabbing his ankles for his bosses has allowed him to get so much further up the corporate ladder than you. Learn like he did to swallow…. Your pride.
It is incredibly sad what has happened here in East Aurora. The post was very accurate - we were more a family who actually helped each other succeed. The culture was truly phenomenal and the talent was too. The new culture, led by the transplants from ES, is survival of the fittest. The senior leadership is the worst I have ever witnessed in all my years at FP. The EVP is not competent to run a company the size of FP, which is the biggest issue. BUT the language that comes out of his mouth leaves one wondering how the Mattel ethics and code of conduct apply to him as well as the SVP of Engineering. The SVP of marketing - Let's see what can we say? He is incapable of making any decisions. Not sure how he got to be a SVP...wait. Yes, I do. He's part of the 'good ole boys club'. He could debate the color of the sky for days. And then, just when you all agreed it was blue, he will say wait a minute. Maybe it's pink - discussion and more discussion follows. No competence whatsoever to be in that position. Everyone says they want innovation BUT when we show innovation, we are told it's too risky. The company really does not want to risk anything so everyone gets the message and plays it safe. Safe does not sell. Honestly we all want the company to do well but the leadership is making it difficult if not impossible. For the company to get back on the map and thrive again will take a complete house cleaning starting from the top. I agree...bring back Neil Friedman. He had a passion for product and great business acumen which none of these people have. Their only passion is for greed. Despite all this, I want to stick it out and give everything to this company that I love, but each day that passes it is getting harder and harder to do so. We need some good news soon to help boost morale. News like we will be getting stronger leadership capable of running not only FP but Mattel.
I really feel for you guys out in EA. I have visited there and have many friends at that building. I always felt that FP fought hard to keep development of product in house, and not in Asia, that they had a great talented crew with a energy that I rarely felt in ES. What HQ has done to your spirit and talent is criminal.
Unfortunately the culture has become too west coast. Promoting and hiring people who had a small modicum of success in ES that were brought in even though they severely lack any people/leadership skills whatsoever. The EA culture was always one that was closer to family than co-worker and that sense of family has been annihilated beyond recognition. We have lost too many good people that were essential to keeping morale high by doing the small acts of kindness which went a long way.
Look at the leadership now: Geoff Walker who is the most inappropriate ass ever to lead a company, The guy in NYC who is too old school to be able to lead a company who has fallen behind with what consumers are looking for. What hope do we have? How are we supposed to succeed when the leadership is not held accountable for their constant poor decisions? Why is marketing constantly spared in all downloadbesttorrentblog.rus when they are the most clueless of all!
As of yesterday it was reported by SA that Hasbro has surpassed us as the biggest toy company in the US. Who's going to pass us next? MGA? Jakks? Bring back Neil Friedman!! Let's get this ship back on course!!
Wow, I feel like I could have written the OP word for word. It's so true it hurts. Even more sad is that it's going to get even worse for all of us here in East Aurora. It's nearly impossible to do our job much less do it well given this environment. I'll just sit and wait for the next lay off. You know there will be more given how bad the business is.
100% accurate. Great post.
So sad. What passes for management skill at Mattel is
is shameful and embarassing.