Where Are All The Old American Girl CEOs Now?
American Girl just got a new CEO, so that had me wondering something: where are all the American Girl CEOs now? After some research online, this is what I found out:
Katy Dickson was CEO of American Girl from 2016 to 2018, as most of you know. You might be wondering "2018?" Well, I'll explain what happened in tomorrow's post! Some major changes that happened when she led American Girl include the release of the WellieWishers and Create Your Own line, as well as a move from DVD movies to more digital content and inclusion in retail stores that um, didn't work out.
Now, Katy is on the Board of Directors for the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company in Findlay, Ohio, a company that produces tires for trucks and motorcycles. Going from dolls to tires doesn't sound that much fun, but oh well.
Jean McKenzie was CEO of American Girl from 2012 to 2015- she was CEO when I became an AG fan! Some major changes that happened when she led American Girl included the rebranding of the historical line into BeForever and the release of Grace Thomas: the Girl of the Year with the most expensive playset in American Girl history, Grace's French Bakery.
After that, Jean McKenzie was CEO of Fisher-Price until 2017. Now, she currently serves on the Strategic Development Board at the University of Missouri. If any AG fan goes there or is a fan of the Tigers, now you know that someone who works there used to be the CEO of American Girl!
Ellen Brothers was CEO of American Girl from 2000 to 2012- the first person to serve after Pleasant Rowland stepped down from AG. American Girl evolved a lot during this time period: they launched the Girl of the Year and Best Friends line, started selling doll pets and released their first movie!
After that, Ellen retired to enjoy her life. She still serves on the board of Building Brave, a mentoring company, works on an education startup and mentors several businesspeople, but when she's not doing that, she rides horses and bikes, and really wants a dog. Hope you get that dog, Ellen!
And now finally, the one you've all been waiting for (probably). The one who started it all: Pleasant Rowland, from 1986 to 2000. You all know how she made American Girl rise from nothing, so I'll stop beating around the bush!
After Pleasant Rowland sold American Girl, she became a philantrophist so she could give her riches to help preserve history. She bought a pottery firm so she could help preserve the historical town of Aurora in New York, donated money to build the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, and most recently, just in November she donated 9 million dollars to The Reading League, a charity helping literacy rates to rise. Pretty epic!
What do you think is most interesting? I think all of their post-AG paths are cool, but I like Ellen's the most: stopping to ride horses and bikes sounds like my kind of idea!