LEGO gets new CEO for second time in 8 months


The Danish toy maker has swapped in a younger person to steer the company through what is becoming an increasingly digital world of play.

The appointment comes just eight months after Bali Padda became LEGO's first non-Danish CEO in the company's 85-year history.

Speaking to the Financial Times, LEGO Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp explained that Bali Padda has always been meant to be in the role for an interim period due to his age, with Niels Christiansen being a decade younger.

Mr Christiansen joins Lego after nine years as chief executive of Danfoss, where he increased sales and turned the technology company into a global leader in energy efficiency by focusing on digitalisation. He has also been on the board of AP Moller-Maersk, Danske Bank and Bang & Olufsen.

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He told the Financial Times that it had always been the plan to look for a successor straight away while Padda was in the role, but that the recruitment process had been faster than he had anticipated.

During his time at Danfoss, Christiansen was credited with giving the worldwide company a larger digital focus. "I was just very fortunate that, relatively early, we found the right person", Mr Knudstorp said.

"Bali has been part of the LEGO Group family for the past 15 years", he said.

Knudstorp said the plan to replace Padda quickly gained steam after Christiansen left his former company and approached Lego with interest in the job. "At Lego, we make significantly more money than our closest competitors combined".