By  on June 19, 2009

Philosophy Inc., the prestige beauty brand, is in the market for a new chief executive officer following Michael McNamara’s decision to exit.

The Chandler, Ariz.-based company said Thursday the board and McNamara have “mutually agreed” not to renew his contract, which expired May 15. While a new ceo is sought, Ken Stevens will act as interim chief, and founder Cristina Carlino will continue as executive chairman.

McNamara, who joined the company in May 2008 from Neutrogena Corp., said he had decided not to renew his two-year contract due to the strain of working in Arizona and living in Southern California, where his daughter is starting her senior year of college. “I didn’t want to miss that,” he said. “The commute became way too much.”

He added, “after a lot of reflection, it became clear that this was the time.” He added that he is leaving the organization in “terrific” shape with a “fantastic” pipeline. McNamara had been rebuilding the management structure. His last move was to recruit Gretchen Price as chief financial officer from Procter & Gamble. In early 2007, the company had been acquired by the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based private equity firm.

McNamara said he has no career plans. “I feel good,” he said. “It’s the right time.”

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