By  on April 22, 1994

NEW YORK -- One of the Big Three will soon be without a chief.

When Pierre Rogers steps down as president of the Lancome division of Cosmair Inc. at the end of April to develop a private label line of cosmetics for Sears, Roebuck & Co., one of the cosmetics industry's plum jobs will be open.

Lancome's sales are exceeded only by Estee Lauder's and Clinique's in the U.S. department store market.

Guy Peyrelongue, president and chief executive officer of Cosmair, said the company is looking to L'Oreal's international organization for a successor to Rogers. The successor, whose title will be general manager, will most likely come from the Parfums et Beaute Division, L'Oreal's Paris-based prestige division.

Until a successor is named, Peyrelongue will assume responsibility for supervising Lancome and will rely on two key executives.

The first is Margaret Sharkey, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing and advertising. The other is Lynne Greene, who has been promoted to deputy general manager, but remains senior vice president of sales. Training has also been added to her responsibilities.

"I'm sorry to see him leave," Peyrelongue said of Rogers. But the Cosmair chief noted that Rogers's departure comes at a time when Lancome is strong. The brand cracked the $400 million wholesale mark last year and was 13 percent ahead for the first quarter.

Peyrelongue praised Rogers for the job he did in his four years at the helm of Lancome.

"He significantly strengthened our position in terms of sales," Peyrelongue said, "and he helped create a good cohesion between sales and marketing."

Allen Burke, divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics at Dayton's, Hudson's & Marshall Field's, Minneapolis, said Rogers was a hands-on manager.

"He's a very dynamic and aggressive leader," Burke said. "He's left very strong management in place, and I think Lancome will continue to show impressive growth at our stores."

Allan Mottus, an industry consultant, said Rogers has Lancome "humming."

"That company is really doing terrifically on all fronts," said Mottus. "Pierre is sort of single-minded, and you need someone single-minded if you're going to go up against Lauder. He's a tough cookie."

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