Mattel CEO to deliver College Commencement Address
Margaret (Margo) H. Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel Inc. and recognized thought leader on technology, innovation and leadership, will deliver the 168th College commencement address on Sunday, May 20.
At the ceremony, Georgiadis will be bestowed the University’s George Eastman Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievement and dedicated service. The medal was created in honor of Eastman, one of the University’s great benefactors and the founder of Eastman Kodak Company.
Georgiadis has been CEO and a member of Mattel’s board since February 2017. She is one of 32 women executives currently leading a Fortune 500 company, and she is the second woman CEO of Mattel, the global leader in learning and development through play which is headquartered in El Segundo, California. As CEO, she is leading Mattel’s rapid transformation into a purpose-driven, digital-first company that uses the power of its beloved global consumer brands to inspire wonder, play and learning in children, especially through an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math).
“I am very happy that Margo has accepted our invitation to speak to the College’s Class of 2018,” said
University President Richard Feldman. “Through her leadership, Mattel is reimagining the toy company’s products and redefining its culture to effectively reposition itself in a very competitive and changing industry. She has implemented a new shared mission and set of organizational values to guide this work, which is similar to the initiatives underway at our University. I look forward to her remarks and congratulate her on being an Eastman Medal recipient.”
Before joining Mattel, Georgiadis served as president, Americas, at Google, where she led the company’s commercial operations and advertising sales in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. She also previously served as Google’s vice president of global sales operations, leading technical teams that enabled the successful commercialization of Google’s products and development of new businesses.
During her tenure at Google, she co-led Women@Google, a global organization of over 10,000 women across 45 countries that focused on advancing women leaders and inspiring girls to pursue careers in science and technology.
She also has served as chief operating officer at Groupon; executive vice president of card products and chief marketing officer at Discover Financial Services, helping lead a widely-publicized successful business turnaround; and partner and leader in the marketing, retail and financial services practices at McKinsey and Company.
Georgiadis earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College and a MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a recipient of Forbes “Excellence Award in Innovation,” the POW! Womenetics “Purposeful Women Award,” and was named to Crain’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” and Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists.
“I believe that Margo Georgiadis has the ability to connect with our graduating students and inspire them to think about the world, how it’s rapidly changing and how they can adapt, while staying true to themselves and applying what they have learned at the University,” said Jeff Runner, dean of the College.
Georgiadis was on campus for Meliora Weekend 2017 to participate in a conversation, “Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders in a World Transformed by Globalization and Technology,” with Wendi Heinzelman, dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The discussion focused on how to change the national underrepresentation of women in computer science, and how both Mattel and the University are using emerging technologies to interest young people in science and engineering.
“Margo really embodies her commitment to advancing women leaders and inspiring girls to pursue careers in science and technology,” said Heinzelman.
Georgiadis’ son, Andreas, will also be a part of the College ceremony. He is a graduating senior set to receive a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Hajim School.
Additional information about University commencement ceremonies and related activities is available at www.rochester.edu/commencement/. The May ceremony will be webstreamed live.
Sara Miller, March 2018 (read the original Newscenter story here)