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Deanna Kangas has been named president and chief executive officer of Stila Corp.
This story first appeared in the December 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kangas, who had joined the company in January as chief marketing officer, replaces Ken Ude, who had been at the helm of Stila since July 2007. Stila is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments.
While Kangas acknowledges 2009 will be a challenging business environment for everyone, she said she is confident about Stila’s business plan.
“We see South America, India, Russia and China as huge opportunities, and we are increasing our Internet operations both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Kangas. “We are in 21 markets internationally, and we will be working with them to grow distribution overseas in both existing and new markets. We also feel that our products position us well for the future.” The brand is in about 500 department and specialty stores in the U.S., as well as on sephora.com, stilacosmetics.com and beauty.com.
Kangas also plans to expand the brand’s presence with shopping channels. The brand has appeared on QVC and will begin a new partnership with Home Shopping Network during the first quarter of 2009, Kangas said. “This is a worldwide opportunity for the brand,” she said.
Stila, founded by makeup artist Jeanine Lobell, will mark its 15th birthday in 2009, and Kangas said she also plans to “honor Stila’s heritage” in celebrating the anniversary.
In addition to her Stila experience, Kangas has also been vice president of marketing and public relations for Gloss.com, and she has served in sales and marketing roles for the Michael Jordan Cologne brand and Bath & Body Works’ fragrance division. She also coowned and managed Strategic Growth Consulting, a marketing consulting firm, and Swingtime Designs, a fashion and accessories manufacturing company, and was general manager of Mattel’s Barbie Collector Division. T. Scott King, Managing Director, Sun Capital Partners said, “We are very pleased with the promotion of Deanna Kangas as president and ceo of Stila. Since her appointment as CMO in January 2008, Deanna has demonstrated strong leadership skills and an ability to deliver consistent results through a comprehensive understanding of Stila’s business model. We are confident that she will help develop many new and exciting products consistent with Stila’s great heritage.”