Robert A. Eckert

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Robert A. Eckert
Born1954 (age 67–68)
Alma materUniversity of Arizona
Northwestern University
Known forchairman and CEO of Mattel, 2000–11
CEO of Kraft Foods, 1997–2000
Titleoperating partner, Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
Spouse(s)Kathie Eckert
Lisa Marie Bongiovanni

Robert A. Eckert (born 1954) is an American businessman, chairman and CEO of Mattel from 2000 to 2011, CEO of Kraft Foods from 1997 to 2000, and an operating partner with the private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe.

Early life[edit]

Eckert received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Arizona in 1976, and an MBA in marketing and finance from Northwestern University in 1977.[1][2]


Eckert started a 23-year career with Kraft Foods in 1977, rising to president and chief executive officer (CEO) in October 1997.[3]

In 2000, Eckert joined Mattel as chairman and CEO,[3][4] and remained as CEO until December 2011.[3] He retired at the end of 2011, and was succeeded by Bryan G. Stockton who had been chief operating officer[5] and chairman until December 2012.[6]

In 2004, under Eckert's leadership, Mattel began a seven-year legal war against tiny, California-based MGA Entertainment. In a surprise defeat, a jury decided that MGA Entertainment was the rightful owner of the once-billion dollar line of Bratz dolls. A BMO Capital Markets analyst said the failure to settle will go down as a “tremendously bad decision” by Mattel management. “It means they wasted $400 million or so of shareholder money to get zero return,” he said][7]

In 2014, Eckert joined the private equity firm Friedman Fleischer & Lowe as an operating partner.[3]

He is a non-executive director of Levi Strauss, McDonald's since 2003, and Amgen since 2012.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Eckert was married to Kathie, and they had four children.[8] In June 2017, Eckert and his wife sold their Park Tower condominium for a little over $2.92 million.[9]

On June 1, 2019, Eckert married Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, a former Mattel communications executive.[10]


  1. ^ "Robert Eckert – News, Articles, Biography, Photos –". 2002-10-03. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  2. ^ "Bob Eckert | Kellogg School of Management | Northwestern University". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  3. ^ a b c d "Former Mattel Chief Robert Eckert Joins Friedman Fleischer & Lowe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  4. ^ "#72 Robert A Eckert". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  5. ^ "Mattel Announces Robert A. Eckert to Retire as CEO". Business Wire. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  6. ^ a b "Robert A. Eckert". Levi Strauss. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  7. ^ "Mattel Loses Huge Suit Over Popular Dolls". HuffPost. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  8. ^ "Robert A. Eckert 1954— Biography – Low-profile beginnings, Climbing the corporate ladder at kraft". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  9. ^ "Former CEO of Kraft, Mattel sells Michigan Avenue condo". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  10. ^ "Wedding Registry". The Good Beginning. Retrieved 2020-12-09.