The company that François Coty founded a century ago is being re-engineered with the express purpose of conquering the world of beauty. The architect of this grand plan is Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc.
Earlier this year, Beetz left no doubt as to what his ambitions are for Coty’s next few years. “I want to establish Coty in the top 10 worldwide,” he told WWD in February. At that time, Beetz said the company ranked 13th worldwide — but that he thought Coty could crack the top 10 globally in two to three years. In order to join that select club, Coty’s volume would need to grow to $2.5 billion.
And Beetz has a clear idea how he’ll take Coty to that lofty level: by continuing to build global power brands and continuing to beef up the mass and class sides of the multinational company’s business.
Looking at the world view is something Beetz is well used to. He took on his current role in May 2001, succeeding Peter Harf, who moved up to chairman. Prior to joining Coty, Beetz served as president and ceo of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Parfums Christian Dior. Before joining Dior, he spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble, where he oversaw several European businesses, including health and beauty care, for the consumer goods giant’s European market.
These days, Beetz is responsible not only for Coty Inc.’s eponymous mass brand and its Celine Dion, Mary-kateandashley, Adidas, Healing Garden and Rimmel brands, he also oversees a wide range of prestige businesses — including the fragrance licenses of Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Joop! and Davidoff.
While Beetz noted that future acquisitions aren’t unlikely, he also expects significant organic growth — at least 5 percent — from both sides of the business, particularly in the Americas and Europe, which together accounted for 89 percent of Coty’s $1.7 billion in net sales in 2003. Asia and the rest of the world accounted for the remaining 11 percent.
Beetz has often spoken of his desire to create global power brands. “They follow a development process,” he explained in an August interview with WWD. “We nourish them on a regional level, then look at their global potential.” For instance, European powerhouses Rimmel, Davidoff and Lancaster have hopped the pond to the U.S., while Beetz is poised to grow American phenomenons Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole in Europe. He also has plans to bring Lancaster’s color cosmetics brand, which was revamped in Europe last year, to the U.S. “in the not too distant future,” and to further expand Rimmel’s reach in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
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