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Editor’s Letter: Ready for Take Off

Unilever’s U.S. beauty business is on fire, with the company leading the mass market in sales increases in the key categories in which it competes.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 05/10/2013

Kees Kruythoff assumed his post as president of Unilever’s North American business after running the Brazilian operations of the Anglo-Dutch giant. Although conventional wisdom would hold that an emerging, fast-growing country would present a plethora of growth opportunities versus a mature, well-developed market, the opposite has proved to be the case. Unilever’s U.S. beauty business is on fire, with the company leading the mass market in sales increases in the key categories in which it competes. We wanted to know what is driving that success, and for the first time in more than a decade, key Unilever executives—Kruythoff and Gina Boswell, executive vice president of personal care in North America—sat down with WWD Beauty Inc for an in-depth discussion about the company’s strategic vision for the personal-care category. “We have a real growth agenda in the U.S.,” says Kruythoff. “It is all about growth, growth and growth.” To find out how he and Boswell are going to do it, turn to “Clean Sweep.”

This story first appeared in the May 10, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Kruythoff also spent time running Unilever’s South Africa business. As he no doubt can attest, some of the countries of that continent are emerging as hot spots for beauty brands looking to establish a toehold in developing markets. WWD’s executive editor of beauty, Pete Born, and South African- based reporter Bambina Wise have collaborated on a report to give us a comprehensive overview of the region’s rapidly evolving beauty landscape. The result is in “Oh Africa!.”

The 18 people featured in “The Bay City Rollers” are also adept at optimizing growth opportunities. They represent the Silicon Valley power players in the worlds of tech and finance who most impact the beauty universe. The list features everyone from JH Partners’ John Hansen, best known for his acquisition of Bare Escentuals back in 1990, to Amy Cole, Instagram employee number six and the person to know if you’re a brand hoping to maximize your presence on the platform.

They’re on the cutting edge of knowing what’s next, and we hope you’ll feel the same after reading this issue.