By  on January 10, 2013

After 12 years at Procter & Gamble Co., Donald J. Loftus will retire on April 1 and he will be succeeded by Dennis Curran as president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige, North America.

Loftus, 58, has amassed a career spanning 37 years, beginning in Cleveland in 1976, as a retailer with Halle’s and May Co., where he rose to divisional vice president of cosmetics and accessories. That led to a 12-year chapter in brand building. He gingerly stepped through a series of sales, marketing and top management jobs, including Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, a brief spell at the U.S. affiliate of Versace Profumi, then president and ceo of the U.S. affiliate of Sanofi Beauté and a similar position of leadership in 2001 at Escada Beauté Ltd., which was acquired by Wella and later reorganized into Cosmopolitan Cosmetics. Loftus was the president and ceo of Cosmopolitan’s U.S. unit, when the parent Wella was acquired by P&G in 2003.

Loftus then was named to his current post of the newly formed North American affiliate of P&G’s prestige business. He recalled on Wednesday that the division was loaded with 18 brands and 300 fragrances. Those 18 were winnowed down to five — Dolce & Gabbana fragrances, Gucci, Lacoste, Escada and Hugo Boss. To this fragrance assortment was added Fekkai, SK-II, Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics and The Art of Shaving.

“Our goal [as a company] is to become one of the most important cosmetics companies in the world,” Loftus said. “My goal was get us established and be a leader in the U.S. cosmetics industry.”

Noting that his career has been divided into three chapters, Loftus said that whatever he does next, he hopes it will draw upon his retail background, his brand-building experience and his love of theater. In his spare time, he writes plays.

Curran has been with P&G for 26 years, holding a succession of sales and marketing posts in the U.S. and abroad. He has worked with beauty brands such as Olay, Cover Girl, Pantene, Old Spice and Secret. Before joining the prestige division, Curran led P&G’s business at CVS, one of company’s most strategic partners.

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