Jill Barad, who made Barbie into a selling sensation and helped build Mattel into a corporate powerhouse, has stepped down from the helm of the world's biggest toymaker after failing to revive falling sales and profits.

Barad, 48, one of the highest ranking women in business, was under intense pressure from investors and Mattel's board of directors to explain big losses at the company's newly acquired Learning Company software division and other troubles at Mattel.

Barad resigned Feb. 3 as the El Segundo, Calif.-based company reported a steep loss for...

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