The Lego Group announced a new appointment last week: the Group appointed Niels B. Christiansen as the new CEO, replacing Bali Padda, who took on that role just eight short months ago. The appointment is effective October 1, 2017.
According to a statement from Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of LEGO Brand Group, the family-owned toy brick manufacturer had intended all along to look for a successor, as, due to Mr Padda’s age - 61 – he would not be able to have a long tenure. Bali Padda, he said, was aware of this. However, nothing about the apparently temporary nature of the appointment was hinted at in the press release last year in which Padda was named CEO and hailed as the first non-Dane to lead the company.
Knudstorp also said that the transition to a new CEO occurred more rapidly than the Board had anticipated.
Calling Padda a “great friend and a wonderful ambassador for the LEGO brand", Knudstorp said Padda would now assume a special advisory role with LEGO Brand Group.
Niels Christiansen has spent more than 25 years in business leadership, most recently as CEO of global industrial technology company, Danfoss, a position he held for nine years until end of June 2017. Knudstorp praised his experience in digitalisation and globalisation, implementing a transformative strategy, and creating an agile, high performing, international team all of which will benefit the Lego group.
A Danish citizen, he said he was “honoured” and “looking forward to working with the Board, the family and the LEGO Group team as we embark on the next phase of global growth."