By  on December 9, 2011

An avid race car fan, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, the honorary chairman of L’Oréal and recipient of this year’s WWD Beauty Inc Visionary Award, knows a thing or two about power and speed. During his 18-year run as chief executive officer, he built L’Oréal into the world’s biggest beauty company, posting double-digit profit growth for an unprecedented 21 years. Despite his success, the term visionary is one he eschews. “I’d like to be remembered as a brave soldier,” he told WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born, during a two-hour conversation in which he reminisced about his career. “I asked an awful lot of stuff from an awful lot of people, but I have some pride in thinking that nobody ever saw me as anything other than optimistic, competitive, combative, outgoing. If I had moments of doubt, I kept them to myself. I tried to lead from the front and show my team that we could do things and that we would do things.”


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