The next step in the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.’s acquisition of Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics is a new management structure which includes three longtime Lauder executives: Beth DiNardo, Caroline Geerlings and John Demsey.
At the time the deal was inked, on May 17, the management team was helmed by Dean Factor, co-founder and chief executive officer; Davis Factor, co-founder, chief creative officer and celebrity photographer, and Budd Taylor, president. The Factors are great-grandsons of legendary makeup artist Max Factor, and founded the company in 1996. While the purchase price was not disclosed, sources estimated that it was between $200 million and $300 million.
In the new structure, DiNardo will become global general manager of the brand. DiNardo will work closely with Taylor to lead the day-to-day operations of Smashbox and its integration into the Estée Lauder Cos., as well as global operations. DiNardo has been at Lauder for 13 years as an executive and most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of Darphin North America. She has also held global leadership positions at Clinique and Rodan + Fields. While DiNardo is currently based in New York, she will relocate to Smashbox headquarters in Los Angeles when the acquisition is complete. The acquisition is expected to be completed July 1.
DiNardo will report to Geerlings, who will be taking on responsibilities for new business, especially global growth and accelerated development of new products. Geerlings was most recently senior vice president and general manager of Prescriptives Worldwide. She has also been an executive at MAC Cosmetics and Christian Dior Perfumes. Geerlings will report to Demsey, who is a Lauder group president. To whom Taylor will report is still being decided.
“We’re not going to reinvent the company, just take them into the future,” said Demsey, who added that Davis Factor will remain chief creative officer and Dean Factor will move into a consultant role and that DiNardo and Geerlings would focus chiefly on global business. “The key executives who made the brand the success it is will still be there on July 1. And I believe the combination of having Caroline, Beth and Budd will be unbeatable. Budd Taylor’s commitment to Smashbox is essential in ensuring Beth and the Smashbox team have continuity and success in the brand’s day-to-day activities. His experience and overall strategic know-how of the business is key as Smashbox continues to grow and evolve in the coming months.”
Demsey discussed the differences between MAC and Smashbox. “The two are similar in that they are makeup and high performance, but they are otherwise different. I believe that the unique selling proposition of Hollywood and a makeup brand emanating from a celebrity photographer and makeup artist is very compelling. Smashbox also is sold mostly in self-select environments, such as Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s Impulse. They were one of the pioneers on QVC. The combination of having MAC with its makeup artist heritage and its freestanding stores and department and specialty store distribution and Smashbox in its distribution and from a Hollywood perspective, will be unbeatable.”
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