Kao Corp. Restructures for Growth

Beginning this month, the firm's beauty care subsidiaries — including its mass, salon and prestige arms — will be run as unified operations.

Kao Corp. is unifying its management structures for beauty products in major markets, including the U.S., to accelerate growth.

This story first appeared in the January 20, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Beginning this month, Kao Corp.’s beauty care subsidiaries — including its mass, salon and prestige arms — will be run as unified operations. They were formerly run as separate entities.

Kao Brands Co. in the U.S. will become Kao USA Inc., for which John Nosek has been named president. Bill Gentner has been appointed president, Kao Consumer Products, Americas and EMEA, or Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nosek was most recently general manager for Kao Brands Co. U.S., a role he was named to in 2008, and Gentner was most recently president and ceo of Kao Brands Co.

Nosek will oversee the Consumer Products business, the Professional Salon business and Molton Brown USA Inc. in the U.S., with an emphasis on the standardization of work practices and integration of information technology systems. Gentner’s role will expand to include overseeing the salon and prestige businesses for all of the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa. His previous role was overseeing the mass business in those markets.

Kao’s brands include Jergens, Curel, John Frieda, Bioré, Goldwell, Ban and KMS California.

The restructuring is said to be giving Kao greater leverage in target markets and enabling the company to utilize experience and resources to accelerate Kao’s growth.

“After five years with Kao, I’m excited to take on the challenge of leading Kao USA,” said Nosek. “This new role represents a tremendous opportunity to continue building what is already such a dynamic, visionary company.”

“John has had such a strong track record at Kao Brands, and I’m confident he will continue his significant achievements in his new role,” said Gentner. “I can’t think of a better leader to guide the process of unifying the Kao USA holdings.”