Lego's not playing around: Toymaker appoints first British chief executive in structure shake-up to build for the future

 
Rebecca Smith
The company has announced a new chief executive and a structural shake-up
The company has announced a new chief executive and a structural shake-up (Source: Getty)

It's all go at Lego at the moment.

The company's just announced that Jorgen Vig Knudstorp is stepping down from his position as chief executive and will be replaced by Bali Padda.

Padda, currently chief operations officer at the firm, will be the Danish toymaker's first British chief executive and assumes the role on 1 January 2017, with Knudstorp becoming chairman and taking over from Niels Jacobsen.

Read more: The one hire which has secured Lego's business legacy

It comes as part of a big shake-up for the company, with the owners of Lego, the Kirk Kristiansen family, developing a new spin-off Lego Brand Group, and Knudstorp at the helm of that.

He was, after all, the boss who turned the firm's fortunes around from 2004. Where other toymakers ran into trouble, Lego picked up steam. Knudstorp has overseen rocketing growth in sales and profit, with years of net profit rising by double-digit rates (though sales growth did slow for the first half of 2016).

Read more: Merlin builds on global growth with launch of Dubai Legoland

Jorgen Vig Knudstorp will be heading up the new entity at Lego
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp will be heading up the new entity at Lego (Source: Getty)

The company now has eyes on exploiting its brand more effectively across the world and building for the future; with plans to launch its Legoland theme park and education products in China, for one.

In October, theme park operator Merlin Entertainments, said it will open a Legoland park in Dubai, complete with a Lego model of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It's the first of a raft of new Lego-branded resorts coming up, with Japan and South Korea also set to get their own parks too.

And Leicester Square frequenters may have noticed a rather large store open up last month. In fact, it's the world's biggest Lego store and the 131st to open worldwide.

Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, the fourth generation owner of the Lego Group, said: "With our recent growth and globalisation come new and exciting opportunities for the brand, and we establish the Lego Brand Group to look into these new opportunities."

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