Lego CEO step downs, COO takes over

Jorgen Vig Knudstorp (pictured), part of the team responsible for turning Lego into one of the world’s most profitable toy makers, will be stepping down as chief executive officer at the end of this year to become chairman of the company. Knudstorp was the first non-family member to head up the 84-year-old toy company.

Knudstorp joined the Denmark-headquartered Lego in 2001, and was made CEO in 2004. According to Bloomberg, at that time, Lego was losing a staggering $1 million each day, unable to compete with the rising popularity of electronic toys. Over the next decade, Knudstorp saw to it that the situation improved, helping revenue grow five-fold, to $5.2 billion. Part of his strategy included a shift in financial governance, making the company less susceptible to economic uncertainty.

Bali Padda, currently the company's chief operations officer, will be taking over from Knudstorp. Knudstorp, talking to Reuters, said that he thinks Padda would do a good job - better, even, that what he had done.

Knudstorp said:

"Bali is good at setting a direction. U'm more of a reflective introvert type who spends a lot of time thinking about what we should do and try to inspire others to do it. He has a more social and involving way of managing, and I think many in Lego look forward to that."

Padda joined Lego in 2002 and will be the first non-Dane to run the company (he was born in India and lived there until he was 12 years old).