Too old for Lego? Chief executive Bali Padda replaced by Niels Christiansen
Aug 11 2017
Lego has appointed Niels B. Christiansen to replace Bali Padda as chief executive, the Danish toymaker said on Thursday.
Speaking to the Financial Times, LEGO Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp explained that Bali Padda has always been meant to be in the role for an interim period due to his age, with Niels Christiansen being a decade younger.
Bali Padda, the first chief executive from outside Denmark, will exit the company because the 61-year-old is unlikely to be able to serve more than a few years in the post.
Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, his grandson Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is now the main family representative at Lego. The search had been expected to take longer than a year, but Christiansen was considered the right person for the role.
Mr Christiansen, 51, was previously the head of global industrial technology firm Danfoss.
Padda will now stay on to help Christiansen settle in at The LEGO Group and will then join Knudstrop as special adviser at the company continues to look at opportunities for the brand away from toys.
"[Christiansen] has a solid rooting in Danish values, where you have authority because you're a competent, credible and authentic leader, not because you're the boss who sits at the end of the table and smokes big cigars", Mr Knudstorp said. He's definitely not disappointed us.