Christiansen appointed as new LEGO Group CEO

Fran Roberts
- Leadership - Aug 10, 2017

The LEGO Group today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Niels B. Christiansen as CEO of the LEGO Group effective 1 October 2017.

A LEGO spokesman said Christiansen, who left engineering company Danfoss at the end of June, after leading the company for nine years, was the "perfect match" for the Chief Executive job at LEGO.

The appointment comes just eight months after Bali Padda became LEGO’s first non-Danish CEO in the company’s 85-year history. Padda has been moved to a “special advisory role” at the LEGO Brand Group.

LEGO’s Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said the decision was not a reflection of Padda’s performance, but because the Briton’s age – 61 – meant that he would not be able to have a long tenure.

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When Padda took over last December, LEGO said the search would begin immediately for a successor. Knudstorp said the transition to a new CEO occurred more rapidly than the Board had anticipated.

"Bali has been part of the LEGO Group family for the past 15 years. He played an integral role in the turnaround of the LEGO Group and during his time as CEO created a solid foundation from which to continue to transform the company," Knudstorp said in a statement.

New CEO Christiansen has spent more than 25 years in business leadership. During his tenure with Danfoss, the company doubled in size to 39bn DKK (US$ 6.1bn) increased its global footprint and transformed its portfolio in response to changing customer demands.

Christiansen is already looking ahead to his new role. “As I look at the challenges facing this generation of children, the Group’s mission, to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, is more important and urgent than ever,” he said.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to join an organisation as iconic and purpose-driven as the LEGO Group. I have loved building with LEGO bricks since I was a child.”

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