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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews