The LEGO Foundation has a new chief executive officer

The LEGO Foundation has appointed a new chief executive officer from the boards of the LEGO Foundation and Merlin Entertainments. 

It has been announced that Agnete Kirk Kristiansen is returning to the LEGO Foundation board of directors while current board member Sidsel Marie Kristensen has been appointed as the new CEO of the charitable organisation. Sidsel will step into the role from 1 February 2023, for a minimum period of one year.

“I look very much forward to welcoming Sidsel Marie Kristensen as CEO of the LEGO Foundation,” commented Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of the LEGO Foundation board of directors. “Through her extensive leadership and board experience from the LEGO-ecosystem, among others as a board member of the LEGO Foundation, Sidsel is deeply engaged in learning through play. 

“Her unique understanding of our purpose, strategy and partnerships combined with her values, energy, and skillset, makes Sidsel well positioned to continue the development of the LEGO Foundation, recognised as one of the largest private donors within education.” 

Sidsel’s experience includes being on the board of the LEGO Foundation since 2020 as well as Merlin Entertainments, who operate LEGOLAND parks, since 2019. Some of her more recent experience includes joining the board of directors at digital learning provider BrainPOP, meaning her knowledge of learning through play will likely be useful as the CEO of the LEGO Foundation. 

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join the LEGO Foundation and become part of an organisation working towards one of the most important purposes, there is, namely, to create a better future for our children,” shared Sidsel. “Through my work on the LEGO Foundation board of directors, I have seen first-hand how the capacity of the foundation has been elevated to execute strong programs and increase its grantmaking capabilities. I look very much forward to continuing this development together with our partners.” 

The LEGO Foundation’s grantmaking capabilities have been put to the test in recent years with a few sizable donations made in 2022 alone, including over £100 million in global funds, $13.6 million in support of Ukrainian children, $20 million to a neurodivergence program and the launch of a $143 million early-years development competition

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