PARIS — The appointment Thursday of Nicolas Hieronimus as L’Oréal’s deputy chief executive officer, placing him second in command, has amplified industry buzz over whether he's the heir-apparent to one day step up to the beauty giant’s top post.Jean-Paul Agon, L’Oréal's chairman and ceo, revealed Hieronimus’ promotion to the newly created role during the group's annual general meeting here. He is currently president of the company’s Selective divisions and in his new post will now also oversee the Consumer Products division.“The goal is to strengthen the overall and transversal vision of the four global divisions who are confronted with new challenges in this constantly changing world,” L’Oréal said in a statement.Asked whether succession plans are under way, a company spokeswoman told WWD Thursday night: “Jean-Paul Agon’s succession is not on the agenda. Jean-Paul Agon has stated in the past his intention to remain ceo until the statuary age limit of 65, subject to the board’s agreement.”Agon is 60 years old.Still, industry sources wondered whether Hieronimus isn’t being gently groomed over a number of years to take over the company's helm, in a similar fashion to how Agon was by his predecessor, Lindsay Owen-Jones. And his new role continues his meteoric ascent at the group.Eva Quiroga, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, referred to “how quickly he has risen through the ranks, from head of Professional in 2008 to head of Selective, roughly half of group sales, in 2013.”She also lauded the executive for the way he’s managed the L’Oréal Luxe division over the last few years, “consistently delivering best-in-class growth — between 2011, when he was put in charge of L’Oréal Luxe, and 2016, he delivered average organic top-line growth of 7.2 percent, versus plus 4.6 percent for the group overall.”Yet, some industry sources question whether Hieronimus’ age wouldn’t be a stumbling block if he were to be named the head of L’Oréal in five years’ time, when he would be 58.“Clearly, L’Oréal takes succession very seriously. At the end of the day, they had four-and-a-half ceo's — one of them merely facilitated a transition for a couple of years — in more than 100 years. And [the company] ensures that the next ceo is identified early on and introduced carefully — as had been the case with both Owen-Jones and Agon, and key to the group’s success in my view,” Quiroga said.The appointment of Hieronimus wasn't the only major decision made at L’Oréal’s general meeting. The company’s board of directors also made a last-minute decision to withdraw from a vote the slated resolution regarding a stock split.Agon said dividing the stock in half could, in certain cases, result in negative fiscal consequences for shareholders. L’Oréal therefore has asked for further information regarding the impact from the French administration.L’Oréal’s board withdrew the resolution, which will be up for discussion and for possible vote next year.The company's stock, which trades at 182.85 euros, or $196.88 at current exchange, on Paris’ CAC 40, has not been split since 2000.The resolutions up for vote at the annual general meeting were approved. These include Agon’s remuneration for 2016, which was raised to 4.2 million euros, or $4.5 million. The executive is eligible for 32,000 performance shares in four years.Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder, Eugène Schueller, had her seat on L’Oréal’s board renewed for another four years, as was that of Virginie Morgon, who is deputy ceo of Eurazeo.Paul Bulcke was approved to replace Peter Brabeck-Letmathe — his predecessor at the helm of Nestlé — as vice chairman of L’Oréal’s board.It was decided that a dividend of 3.30 euros, or $3.54, per L’Oréal share — representing an on-year increase of 6.5 percent — would be distributed on May 3. At the same time there will be a dividend of 3.63 euros, or $3.90, paid out for each share that had been continuously registered for at least two years.During a meeting held after the general meeting, company board members agreed on the cancellation of the 2,846,604 shares acquired during the buyback program they had green-lighted on Feb. 9.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.