By  on March 22, 2010

Despite the tenaciousness of the global recession, the WWD Beauty CEO Summit will get under way in Palm Beach, Fla., on May 10 with an unusually rich roster of top executive speaking talent.

The theme of this summit, the eighth in succession, is A Fresh Start, and the speeches have been organized in groups forming phases of renewal — reboot/reframe, innovate/incubate, understand/engage and evolve/expand.

The program will kick off Monday evening with Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer of the Estée Lauder Cos. The summit will shift into high gear Tuesday morning with a speech by Edward D. Shirley, vice chair of Global Beauty & Grooming at Procter & Gamble Co.

Other morning keynote speakers will include Carmen R. Bauza, vice president of beauty at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; François-Xavier Fenart,president of L’Oréal Brazil, and Muriel Gonzalez, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of Macy’s Inc.

Philip Shearer, ceo of the Paris-based Clarins Group, will give his keynote, then turn the stage over to a group of product innovators. These will include Armand de Villoutreys, vice president of Fine Fragrance Worldwide at Firmenich Inc., and Marcia Kilgore, founder and creative director of Soap & Glory and FitFlop, who created brands for different channels in different product worlds. These leaders will be joined by Ido Leffler, co-founder and chief carrot lover of Yes To Inc.

The final session of the morning will be a panel discussion aimed squarely at ground-breaking innovations within the fragrance category. A discussion will be led by Steve Stoute, chairman and lead investor of Carol’s Daughter; recording superstar Mary J Blige, who, as an investor in Carol’s Daughter, is launching her first fragrance, and Mindy Grossman, ceo of HSN Inc., who is pioneering new techniques for selling fragrance via TV.

After the lunch break, Paco Underhill, founding president of Envirosell and a global expert on retailing, will give a presentation. He will be followed by a panel discussion led by Virginia C. Drosos, president of Global Female Beauty at P&G. Her group will tackle the subject of communicating with the consumer in the digital age. Kevin Kells, national director of Consumer Packaged Goods at Google Inc., and Fred Mossler of Zappos.com will be on that panel.

The evening address will be given by Mikhail Kusnirovich, founder and chairman of Bosco di Ciliegi, which owns Articoli Gum and the Articoli-Vesna megastores — two of Moscow’s top fragrance and luxury accessories retailers. In 2004, the company bought a controlling stake in Gum, the historic department store on Red Square.

The program will open Wednesday morning with an address by Lyn P. Kirby, president and ceo of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. She will be followed by a Polish specialty store retailer, Wojciech Inglot, president of Inglot, an international chain. A perspective from India will be provided by Gaurav Mahajan, chief operating officer of Trent Ltd.

One of the most talked-about developments of the last two years was the advent of drugstore chains entering prestige beauty retailing. The subject will be explored by the three top players: Shelley J. Rozenwald, president of Murale at Shoppers Drug Mart Corp.; Mike Bloom, senior vice president of CVS Caremark Corp., and Joseph C. Magnacca, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer of Duane Reade Inc.

The summit will conclude with a talk by Chris Sanderson, strategy and insight director of The Future Laboratory, and a forecast of what comes next by Karen Grant, senior beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group Inc.

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