Ynon Kreiz
Vincent Collyer for Variety
Israel United States



Chairman / CEO

Kreiz raised eyebrows when he brought together auteur Greta Gerwig with actress Margot Robbie to produce an unconventional script as the very first film project to power his strategy of turning the toy company’s iconic brands into media sensations. But he delivered big time with “Barbie,” in 2023 handing Warner Bros. Its biggest hit in the studio’s 100-year history, which in turn revitalized sales for the iconic Mattel doll. Not bad for someone whose career to date boasts plenty of franchise management experience but none in the medium of film, dating back to his days running companies as varied as Disney’s Maker Studios, Endemol and Fox Kids Europe. The Israeli-born Kreiz has an armada of other Mattel toys, including Hot Wheels, Pictionary and Monster High, aiming to make similar magic in Barbie’s wake — both in film, with other pedigreed producers attached, and other media.  

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Barbie, Shmarbie: Mattel CEO’s Media Strategy Is Far More Than One Movie

Barbie, Shmarbie: Mattel CEO’s Media Strategy Is Far More Than One Movie

While "Barbie" may have been a huge opening salvo in Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz's plan to turn toy brands into media IP, it's just the beginning of a versatile long-term strategy that will extend far beyond the cinema to TV and gaming for the likes of "Monster High" and "Hot Wheels." That was Kreiz's message at his keynote Q&A at the Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit last week in Los Angeles, where he celebrated the big win the Warner Bros....


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