An area that the Supply Chain Matters blog has focused on since our inception is bringing visibility to how a background in the many functional areas that make-up supply chain management can lead to other senior business leadership roles, including that of the CEO. We, as well as others, have highlighted CEO appointments involving corporations such as Apple, BMW, Dow Chemical, General Motors, McCormack Foods, among others. The key theme often comes down to not only positioning one’s career but also having a deep understanding and appreciation for the linkage of manufacturing and supply chain capability to required business outcomes.

Once again, we highlight another appointment, one involving internationally renowned toy maker LEGO Group, and the recent appointment of Bali Padda as its new CEO. Mr. Padda assumes the top role from former CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp who will now head up the new entity, LEGO Brand Group. Business Network CNBC’s byline regarding this appointment of this closely-held company was the significance of the first non-Danish CEO in the company’s history.

Padda’s has been at LEGO for 14 years and his most recent role was that of Chief Operations Officer. Prior roles included Head of Logistics, Head of Supply Chain and Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain. He joined the Danish company with a customer service and supplier relations management background.

The corporate press release includes a quote from Niels Jacobsen, Chairman of the Board of LEGO Group which provides a great reinforcement of required leadership skills:

Bali Padda has a fantastic record of accomplishment in the LEGO Group with more than 14 years of experience especially within supply chain functions, but more recently also focusing on people and organizational development. Bali has demonstrated an ability to drive the changes required in operations through the significant growth we have experienced during the past years. I am confident that Bali will continue to develop the company in close cooperation with management.”

As many of our readers can well relate, LEGO’s business model is one driven by seasonality of product demand. More than half of the company’s annual revenues are derived during the current holiday fulfillment period. Toy industry supply chains with high seasonality are highly distribution sensitive with inventory and working capital management as key competencies for assuring profitability growth. The company’s new strategic goal is to extend its brand and distribution reach across the globe and has recently opened a new manufacturing facility in China to supply product demand needs across Asia.

Supply Chain Matters extends are congratulations, best wishes and Tip of the Hat Award to new LEGO CEO, Bali Padda

Bob Ferrari

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