Lego is undergoing historic changes

The toy company is mixing things up...

Lego is undergoing historic changes

David Parry PA Wire/PA Images

Lego is undergoing its most significant corporate re-organisation in its 84-year history ahead of Christmas.

The toy company's current chief executive, Jorgen Vig Knudstorp will become its chairman. Mr Knudstorp will also become the chair of a new entity called the Lego Brand Group. It will allow private family shareholders to have more of a say in the running of the business.

The great grandson of the founder of the company - Ole Kirk Christiansen - will be the deputy chair of this body. The Kristensen family still has a 75% shareholding.

During his time in charge he is credited with turning around the fortunes of the company.


"We want to explore new avenues for the brand ... There is more room for partnerships. More and more people are knocking on our door," Mr Knudstorp told The Financial Times.

Last year Christian Majgaard former-senior director at Lego spoke to Newstalk's Down to Business - he said that tie-ins with other brands such as Hollywood films were pivotal in the company's revival.

One of the first crossover ventures was a series of Star Wars toys - but this was not an easy idea to sell to the company's bosses:

"The first license deal we made was with the Star Wars people - and we were terribly afraid of the word war ... Lego is a pacifist idea," he explained.


But after market research reassured the Danes that people associated Star Wars with action and adventure - not war and violence - the project got the green light and proved to be a massive success "from day one."

The company's revenues have enjoyed a five-fold increase since 2004 and it has doubled its headcount in five years.

Lego's British chief operating officer Bali Padda will become chief executive and be the first non-Dane to take on the role.

He said, "We have to create a mindset of a much smaller company than we are so we become a lot more agile . . . We just need to ensure we have the capabilities that are needed to ensure the expansion can be met."