With apologies to Aristotle, Deb Henretta abhors the status quo the way nature abhors a vacuum. For Henretta, leaders are change agents, and she has assumed the helm of Procter & Gamble’s global beauty business ready to make a difference. Now. Her task is daunting: to restore the luster to the aforementioned business, which suffered a 4 percent decline in sales in fiscal 2012. A veteran P&G exec who last served as head of the Asia region, Henretta has wasted no time in making her presence felt, whether redeploying management or readying global product launches. The results thus far are promising—earnings from P&G’s beauty business in the second fiscal quarter rose 9 percent, while sales inched up 1 percent. Still, as Henretta makes clear in “The Drive to Thrive,” she is just getting started.
“I believe in being very decisive,” was one of Henretta’s most memorable quotes, for both Pete Born, WWD’s executive editor of beauty, and me. That sentiment struck both of us with its forthright directness. Not only does it describe Henretta’s self-professed management style, but it also embodies the new generation of leadership that has arisen in the beauty industry in the last five years. Whether Jean-Paul Agon at L’Oréal, Fabrizio Freda at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc or Henretta herself, the people leading beauty’s biggest companies all have very strong (and very different) strategic visions for the future. See also E. Scott Beattie of Elizabeth Arden and Chuck Rubin of Ulta. As a result, they have not only positioned their companies for what’s coming, but shaped the direction that the entire industry is moving.
We wanted to dig deeper into the dynamic being created, and the result is this issue, our first devoted entirely to leadership. Our goal was to reveal not just what today’s top executives are thinking, but how. What factors were most influential when they were creating their strategic visions and what factors were most important in successfully implementing them? What’s working today? What’s not? What does leadership mean in today’s hyper-fast multicultural business climate, and how can executives most effectively manage both their far-flung employees and the nuances of an ever-evolving consumer base? Industry legend Leonard Lauder opens the issue with how the concept of leadership has evolved, while his son, William, reveals best practices for hiring top talent. Agon, Freda and Beattie share their analytical processes in “Inside the Mind,” while Rubin reveals the change in culture he effected at Ulta that has helped drive the retailer to sustained comp-store sales increases. Twelve rising stars point the way to tomorrow in “Smart Young Things,” while BPI’s Patrice Béliard shares his supremely effective team-building tactics in “Going to Extremes.” Trip to the Arctic Circle anyone?
I hope you’ll agree that this issue is as energetic and insightful as the industry itself. E-mail me at jenny_ firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
5 Key Points From This Issue
1. People Power: Creating a meritocracy in which ideas can flow from the bottom up as well as the top down guarantees an influx of fresh thinking.
2. The Origins of Success: Adaptability—be it in a product formula or marketing plan—drives global success today.
3. All Together Now: Strategic visions aren’t the work of one person. Organizational input is critical for successful implementation down the line.
4. Change Is Good: Businesses that accept the status quo won’t survive.
5. Embrace Embellishment: 3-D textural hair and makeup looks—lace lashes, crystal-studded lips—created an extraordinary backstage beauty season at the spring couture shows.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)