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Biography: Robert A. (Bob) Eckert
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"I don't need to look
at statistics or market research, I have four kids."

– Robert A. Eckert,
Mattel, Inc.

Biography: Robert A. (Bob) Eckert

Episode 404:
Changing the Way We Play

Featured Guest:
Robert A. (Bob) Eckert, Chairman and CEO
Mattel, Inc.

Robert A. Eckert is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Mattel, Inc., the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys with approximately $5 billion in annual sales.

Eckert joined Mattel in May 2000 from Kraft Foods, Inc., the largest U.S.-based packaged food company in the world. A 23-year veteran of Kraft, he most recently served as its president and chief executive officer, a position he had held since October 1997. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing all of Kraft's business units and for leading the company's policy decision-making board, the Operating Committee.

Previous positions include serving as group vice president of Kraft Foods, Inc. and being responsible for the company's Oscar Mayer Foods and North American Foodservice Division, along with the Operations, Sales and Customer Service, Technology, Marketing Services, and Business Development staff functions. In addition, Eckert held the position of president of Oscar Mayer Foods, and in that role significantly accelerated its performance with steady improvements in market share. He also oversaw the introduction of new varieties of Oscar Mayer Lunchables Lunch Combinations, which has consistently delivered double-digit volume growth. Eckert joined Kraft Foods in 1977 and held a variety of marketing positions until he was named vice president, Strategy and Development for Kraft's Grocery Products Division in 1987, vice president, Marketing for Refrigerated Products in 1989, and executive vice president of Kraft Foods and general manager of the Kraft Cheese Division in 1990.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arizona in 1976 and an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Northwestern University in 1977.

Eckert serves on the McDonald's Corporation Board of Directors, is on the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Advisory Board at Northwestern University and is a member of the Board of Visitors at The Anderson School at UCLA. He serves on The Trilateral Commission, is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Council in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Asia Society, the Business Council, the Young Presidents' Organization in Los Angeles and Town Hall Los Angeles.

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