Beauty care is a small percentage of Johnson & Johnson’s $60 billion-plus portfolio, but the firm’s group chairman for Beauty Care, Pericles Stamatiades, stresses the multibillion-dollar business is the fastest-growing category within the pharmaceutical and medical device behemoth’s consumer division.

Part of J&J’s goal “is to step up beauty,” Stamatiades said Wednesday at Manhattan’s Harmonie Club during Cosmetics Executive Women’s Newsmaker Forum, which included a question and answer interview by beauty executive Jill Scalamandre. Skin care is where J&J is strongest, he added, and where there is the most growth opportunity.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The first opportunity is to grow where we are strong. Our antennae are up [for new opportunities], but there is still so much growth where we are [in skin care],” he said. For example, the firm purchased Aveeno in 1999 and has since “tripled its sales,” but J&J “has not done all the work for it to be global.”

While Stamatiades did not mention Aveeno’s brand extension into hair care in April (see adjacent story), he noted J&J’s three other global skin care brands: $1 billion-plus Neutrogena, Clean & Clear and RoC. There are 18 beauty brands within the New Brunswick, N.J.-based firm, some of which dominate the markets they are sold in, including Sundown in Brazil, Bebe in Germany, Dabao in China and Vendôme in France, where each is the region’s market leader.

Neutrogena, he said, is the worldwide market leader in sun care, a characteristic that is vastly different from when J&J acquired the brand in 1994. At the time, sales were “one-third hair care.” Stamatiades added that J&J holds a 55 percent dollar market share in acne care, and that while the mass market is the largest channel selling J&J’s consumer items, one of the biggest opportunities lies in expanding products to other avenues.

“There are 50 percent of customers we have not met because we are not sold where they are [shopping.] There is another world out there. In China, you have to be sold in a department store. In Brazil, 60 percent of the market is door to door. I am a big believer of customized marketing,” he said.

In the U.S., J&J is creeping its brands into other channels: On QVC it sells Neutrogena Dermalogics Retinol NX and direct TV sales come from Neutrogena Skin ID. The secret to his success? Live life simply.

“I’m humble,” he said, adding, “I think it is a big virtue to know what you don’t know.”

Stamatiades, who is based in Athens, said he travels about 80 percent of his time for work, but aims to spend every weekend at home with his wife, daughter and two sons. He has been with the company for 24 years; he joined J&J from Procter & Gamble Co., where he worked on the Tide and Crest brands.

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