MENLO PARK, CA: Mattel VP of global corporate communications Danit Marquardt has departed the company to start a consultancy.
Marquardt’s last day at Mattel was August 2. Asked who has replaced her, the company’s senior director of global corporate comms, Niki Kazakos, said that she will be “the main point of contact moving forward.”
“I decided that it was the right time to consult so that I can have more flexibility and spend more time with my two young children,” Marquardt said. “I had a fantastic two years at Mattel, and am so proud of the team and the work I had the opportunity to lead at the company.”
Marquardt started at Mattel in September 2019. She was responsible for leading communications efforts for corporate stories that enhanced the company’s reputation. Marquardt also led the launch of Mattel’s Play It Forward platform and #ThankYouHeroes program, created in 2020 to celebrate and give back to frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marquardt also oversaw sustainability communications and led the launch of Mattel PlayBack, a toy-takeback program designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products.
She also led internal comms and led communications efforts for Mattel Films, Mattel Television and Mattel’s franchise management divisions, and provided brand communications leadership to the infant preschool business.
Previously, Marquardt worked at Walmart for seven years, most recently leading consumer communications for Walmart.com. She has also led comms for divisions of Walmart U.S. out of the company’s worldwide headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Marquardt spent the first nine years of her career working at agencies including Cohn & Wolfe, now known as BCW after its merger with Burson-Marsteller, and Zeno Group.
Marquardt was a PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree in 2020.
In Q2, Mattel reported net sales of more than $1 billion, up 40% on an as-reported basis from the prior year, and a net loss of $5.5 million, an improvement from a net loss of $111.1 million last year.
This week, Mattel apologized following backlash that its Olympic Barbie dolls didn’t include a figure who appeared to be Asian, despite the games taking place in Tokyo. A Mattel spokesperson told PRWeek in an emailed statement that “fostering a more inclusive world” is at the heart of its brand.
“With our Barbie Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 dolls, we celebrate a range of athletes to inspire kids to find their athlete within,” the spokesperson said. “However, our intention to represent the Asian community with the skateboarder doll fell short and we fully receive and recognize the feedback. Moving forward, we will work to find more ways to champion all representation and celebrate the amazing achievements of all Olympic athletes, who are showing us that anything is possible.”