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OPI Founder, CEO George Schaeffer Retires

Mary van Praag named general manager of Coty's OPI division.

Three years after his nail-care company, OPI, was purchased by Coty, founder and chief executive officer George Schaeffer is stepping down.

Schaeffer will remain involved with the company he founded in 1981 via a newly created role as OPI’s strategic board adviser.

“George puts his heart into everything that he does: the OPI business, the professional nail-care industry and his philanthropy,” stated Michele Scannavini, ceo of Coty Inc. “I would like to thank George for his commitment over the years and wish him continued success in the future.”

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Schaeffer’s departure comes weeks after John Heffner, OPI’s former president, decamped to become ceo of Drybar. Stepping into Heffner’s role is Mary van Praag, who currently manages Coty Canada, whom Scannavini credits with helping to turn Coty Canada’s mass channel business around and building a stronger organization. Van Praag’s appointment is effective Jan. 1.

“Mary’s strong business acumen, category knowledge and diverse work experience will be key assets in expanding the OPI brand business internationally,” said Renato Semerari, president of Coty Beauty. “She has been a star performer within the organization for many years, and I’m confident that there is no candidate more qualified than Mary for this important role.”

Schaeffer also plans to focus on his charitable organization, the Schaeffer Family Foundation, which supports health-related causes and children’s education.