Mattel names new head of Barbie business

Toy maker Mattel Inc on Friday named a new head for its Barbie business as it seeks to reignite sales of its iconic dolls after two years of declines.

Lisa McKnight, a marketing veteran at Mattel, will replace Evelyn Mazzocco, who has run the business since 2014, the company said.

McKnight is the senior vice president of marketing for North America, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A Mattel spokesman declined to give any details on Mazzocco's future role.

Mattel reported earlier this month its first rise in sales of Barbie dolls in more than two years, helped by the launch of its traditionally Caucasian Barbie doll in a variety of skin tones, hairstyles and outfits to appeal to a larger demography.

The company in January also rolled out Barbies in three new body shapes - tall, curvy and petite - to attract young girls, who increasingly prefer electronic toys and tablets to dolls.

Mattel has been changing its marketing and advertising strategy to position its dolls as more than a pretty face, with campaigns such as "You Can Be Anything", which highlight the potential of girls in various professional fields.

McKnight's appointment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.