DEFINITION of 'Robert A. Eckert'

The long-standing chairman and CEO of Mattel Inc. since 2000. When Eckert joined the company, its stock price had fallen drastically. Mattel was losing millions from its acquisition of the Learning Company, so Eckert sold it and took additional actions to cut Mattel's expenses. He succeeded in adding over a $100 million to the company's net income in his first three years as leader and increasing its stock price. For his accomplishments, Business Week named Eckert one of its Top 25 Managers of the Year in 2002.

BREAKING DOWN 'Robert A. Eckert'

Born in 1954 in Illinois, Eckert earned his MBA in 1977 from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He began his career in marketing with Kraft Foods that same year, and over the next 20 years he worked his way up to president of the company's Oscar Meyer division. He then became president and CEO of Kraft, positions he held from 1997 to 2000. As Kraft's president, he oversaw key advertising campaigns that increased sales.

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