I watched an interview with Mattel CEO Bob Eckert about the massive toy recall(s) they have been undertaking as of late.
Interviewer: Mr. Eckert, should consumers feel confident about the safety of Mattel toys?
Eckert: Yes they should, we have the highest quality standards in the industry…”
My first thought was “if you have the highest quality standards in the industry why are you recalling 9 million toys because of lead paint?”. My second thought was that if they really do have the highest quality standards in the industry, it’s not saying much about the industry as a whole.
This is a great example of a CEO talking in powerpoint bullets instead of answering a question with a thoughtful and reasoned answer. Eckert is not believable and as a result he further damages his brand; do you think he actually believes what he is saying? The first rule for doing interviews should be to count to two before answering any question, taking that time to actually think about your answer.
As a side note to this story, my wife runs a company that manufactures good in China for major retail brands such as Nike and Disney. I asked her about this story and she explained how companies often just source out contract manufacturing in China sight unseen, focusing only on price and delivery schedules. Her clients actually send their QA teams to her factories, and also test samples from every container she ships into the U.S. This Mattel story isn’t about quality standards, it’s about not having them for manufacturing assets they don’t control.