As a game, leapfrog involves jumping over other players and never staying on top for too long. Let's hope it's not that way for the new CEO at LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF). Yesterday, Jeffrey Katz replaced Tom Kalinske as CEO for the educational toy specialist.

Katz may seem like an odd choice at first; his resume is loaded with stints in aviation. Toiling away for companies like Swissair, American Airlines, and Northwest may not seem like the ideal training for the new head of LeapPad's empire. However, Katz then went on to launch travel portal Orbitz. Yep, it was still all about airfare and vacation packages there, too, but Orbitz shares the same art of embracing technology that served LeapFrog well early on.

Time hasn't been kind to LeapFrog. The company is struggling overseas and in the education market, and it's been that way for a few years now. LeapFrog isn't breaking new ground in the malaise at the moment. Mattel (NYSE:MAT) and Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) are both trading lower than they were two years ago. The difference here is that LeapFrog shares have been cut in half, while Mattel and Hasbro shareholders are only suffering marginal losses.

I bought shares of LeapFrog last year, impressed by the FLY pentop computer. FLY didn't exactly fly; the $99 price point was too high. The learning curve of the unique pocket-sized teen gadget was pretty high, too. I cashed out at a loss earlier this year.

LeapFrog is still a strong brand for parents with curious, inquisitive toddlers. Taking a radical direction with a new hire just may be the ticket to light a fire in a company that can surely use it. If not, it won't be long before playing leapfrog means someone new hopping over to take the lead.

Mattel has been singled out by both our Inside Value and Hidden Gems newsletters.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does relish the way his youngest son takes to his LeapPad. However, he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.