By  on November 18, 2005

NEW YORK — Karl-Heinz Pitsch has been named general manager of Bumble and bumble, reporting to Michael Gordon, the brand's founder and president.

Gordon, who founded Bumble and bumble in 1977 and sold a majority interest in it to the Estée Lauder Cos. in June 2000, noted that he has known Pitsch for more than a decade.

"I used to consult for Wella, and we always had a great relationship," Gordon said. "He got the brand strength of Bumble, even in those days. Over the years, we've kept in touch, and when I needed to add to our senior management team, I couldn't think of a better person."

A 20-year-plus veteran of the Wella Corp., Pitsch has in the past worked with the Wella, Sebastian, Graham Webb and Belvedere professional hair care brands.

One of Pitsch's particular strengths, said Gordon, is that he has a strong and broad knowledge of the international marketplace. At present, the Bumble brand is in about 2,100 salons in U.S., as well as about 200 doors in the United Kingdom — both salons and retail stores such as Space NK and Selfridges — and a small handful of specialty stores in Continental Europe.

"We've resisted expanding internationally until now," said Gordon, who didn't want to "go into a bunch of doors and then have to redo distribution later. We wanted to get it right the first time around."

Several possible expansion plans are in discussion — including the possible opening of a London-based salon — and Pitsch will help lead the international charge for the brand, said Gordon. Pitsch's strengths in the professional hair care industry in the U.S. will also be central to the strategic development and growth of the brand domestically, he added. All operational departments for Bumble and bumble will report to Pitsch.

After all, joked Gordon, "He's German, and they're really good at getting the trains to run on time."

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