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NEW YORK — Martha Brady has joined Puig as president of Puig USA and general manager of Puig North American Beauty, following the resignation of Kathy Cullin, who has been at the helm of American operations since 1998.
“Kathy Cullin has decided to resign from the group,” according to an internal statement issued by Manuel Puig, president of Puig’s Prestige Beauty Brands Division. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her contribution to the business in North America, especially through these recent difficult times in the U.S.”
Market sources have indicated that Cullin is in talks with another company about a position, but she could not be reached for comment at press time Thursday.
Brady will report to Puig, as Cullin did. He underscored his determination to build the U.S., despite the bearish economic climate. “If we want to be successful,” he said in a telephone interview, “we have to be successful in the U.S.”
Once the market becomes more conducive to growth, Puig sees a number of opportunities. For instance, he would like to reposition the L’Air du Temps brand. Noting that Carolina Herrera has made strides recently with her fashion, Puig would like to imbue her fragrance business with the same spirit. Puig also is planning to launch a Comme des Garçons fragrance for fall.
Puig refused to discuss numbers, but industry sources estimate that the company generates sales of around $65 million wholesale in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and duty-free combined. Sources indicate that Puig would like to eventually raise that total to $200 million.
“I am very confident that in Martha, the group has found the ideal person to lead this new stage in the development of our North American projects,” Puig said.
Brady’s last position had been as president and chief executive officer of Intercosmetics, the U.S. wing of Wella AG’s Cosmopolitan Cosmetics subsidiary. Prior to that, she was vice president of sales and marketing at Guerlain Inc. Before joining Guerlain, she was vice president of sales at Escada Beaute Ltd. and prior to that, general manager of La Prairie Inc.