John W. Amerman

Chairman Board of Directors Mattel, Inc.


Dutch American Heritage Award 1997 Recipient

John W. Amerman achieved a record of consistent profitable growth for Mattel and established the company as the world’s largest toy maker during the 10 years he served as Chief Executive Officer.

With 1996 sales of $3.8 billion, Mattel’s success has resulted from a focus on time tested core brands. Sales of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels vehicles both more than tripled under Mr. Amerman’s leadership.  In addition, the company began producing a line of Disney products in 1988, and Mattel’s 1993 merger with Fisher-Price provided a number one position in the important infant and preschool category.

Amerman, who was president of Mattel International before being named chairman and chief executive officer in January of 1987, dramatically expanded the company’s business outside of the United States, international revenues were 40 percent of company wide sales in 1996.

Prior to joining Mattel in 1980, Amerman was president of the American Chicle division of Warner Lambert. He began his career in 1958 as a product manager at Colgate Palmolive.

The son of John Alfred Amerman, his paternal grandparents were Aletta Jane Quick and George Vroom Amerman.  On the Quick side of the family Theunis Thomaszen Quick and Belijtgen Jacobus married in Naarden, Holland, on March 9, 1625. Their oldest child Weyntje was baptized in Naarden on July 23, 1628. According to the Quick records it is believed they came to America not long after birth of Weyntje, though the exact time is not known. Their land was in the heart of the present day financial and business district of Manhattan.

The earliest known ancestor of the Amerman family line was Jan Direckse Amerman, who is believed to have been a sailor.  It is not known whether he sailed to New Amsterdam (New York), or who his wife was, or how his infant son, Derick Janse Amerman, came to America in 1650. Derick settled in the Flatlands about three miles beyond Flatbush.

Raised in New Jersey, Amerman received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1953 and an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School in 1954. He and his wife, Jerry, have two children.

Amerman is a member of the board of directors of Los Angeles-based Unocal Corporation, Vanstar, and Phoenix House of California. He is also a member of the board of governors of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation and the board of overseers of the Amos Tuck School of Dartmouth College.

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