Procter & Gamble Co.’s beauty division is being reorganized for the second time in five weeks, this time with the departure of Chip Bergh, president of P&G’s global male grooming business unit. Bergh, eager to pursue a chief executive officer role, according to a P&G statement, will leave the firm Sept. 1. P&G chairman, president and ceo Robert McDonald seemed to be answering those on Wall Street who have speculated that all the recent departures have indicated a shake-up in the works. Over the past five months, five top beauty executives have departed, including Bergh. McDonald characterized the departures as part of the natural progression of corporate life.
“Making strategic changes to the leadership of our business units is simply normal business practice for us. We have a very strong and deep bench of leadership talent to draw upon when we need to make changes because of promotions, retirements, departures or, more typically, when we are looking to further develop the talent we are growing. We are confident that the leaders and the strategies for the beauty and grooming business are the right ones to deliver our growth objectives. We have delivered seven straight quarters of growth in this business. We know what we need to do and we have the leadership team in place to do it,” said McDonald, adding that he “wishes [Bergh] every success as he follows his ambition to become a ceo in his own right.”
Patrice Louvet, president, Global Prestige, will replace Bergh, moving from Geneva to Boston this summer. Joanne Crewes, currently vice president, Global SK-II and Female Beauty, Australasian, ASEAN, India, Japan and Korea, will succeed Louvet. Crewes and Louvet will assume their new roles July 1.
Bergh joined P&G in 1983 and became part of the grooming business in 2005 when P&G first acquired the Gillette business.
While Louvet and Crowes are P&G beauty vets, along with Gina Drosos, who currently leads P&G’s Female Beauty business, the many changes in such a short period looks to make the $27 billion business ($38 billion including oral and feminine care) susceptible to learning curves. McDonald explained that since insiders are replacing departed executives, disruptions are limited.
“The truth is that our new team has nearly 300 years of collective beauty industry experience,” said the ceo. “Patrice brings tremendous experience and success into his new grooming role. He transformed our hair care business and brought the same level of success most recently to our Prestige business. Joanne is an equally strong leader with broad and deep beauty experience. And Gina is an exceptional business leader with a rich knowledge of the beauty industry. What you don’t see is the depth of the talent that lies beneath this leadership level — highly experienced teams with a passion for winning in the beauty business. The other thing to remember is that we don’t suffer the disruptions that occur when a key leader has to be replaced by someone from outside the company,” said McDonald.
McDonald added that P&G executives moving on to take on new roles of greater capacity is to be expected.
“Frankly, it is inevitable. There are leaders of many world class companies that started their careers with P&G. The focus we place on leadership and development is world renowned and while the vast majority of that exceptional talent pool spend their entire careers with P&G, we will lose a few who move on to become chief officers at other companies. Our regretted attrition rate is very low.”
In March, Christopher de La Puenta, group president, Global Hair Care, P&G, left to take the top post at Sephora. Ed Shirley, vice chairman Beauty & Grooming, announced his retirement in May, but industry sources speculate he will at some point appear in a ceo role.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast