NEW YORK — The door to Revlon’s management office continues to swing.
This time Debra Leipman-Yale, executive vice president for Revlon Global and chief marketing officer, is taking her leave after an 18-month tenure. Moving into the post is Stephanie Klein-Peponis, who first began working with Revlon a little more than a year ago through Boston Consulting Group, where she was vice president and director of the New York office. In June, Peponis was brought in-house at Revlon in the newly created position of executive vice president, chief planning and business development officer.
Jack Stahl, chief executive officer, said Leipman-Yale’s departure came about through a series of talks between the two, suggesting it was a mutual decision. “Debra has done a wonderful job. It is a better-positioned company than what we would have been [without her].” Yet, he said, “We have been having some discussions that this was the right move for everybody.”
Leipman-Yale began her career at Revlon in 1978 and left in 1983 for Clairol, where she rose to executive levels. She returned to Revlon in April 2002, two months after the installation of Stahl as ceo. “My plan now is to take some time off and explore alternatives and emerge at the right moment,” said Leipman-Yale. “I am very proud of what we achieved as a company. I have accomplished my initial goals and believe that this is the right thing for me and it is the right thing for the company.”
Under Leipman-Yale, the Revlon brand gained market share and embarked on new more broad-based promotional programs including movie and event tie-ins. Still it remains burdened with a $1.7-plus billion debt, and Stahl has recently added three new posts to its financial department to tackle those problems.
Stahl said Peponis, who worked at Morgan Stanley as a financial analyst in the early Nineties, “is a very strong business-oriented marketer. The opportunity for our company is to create great marketing, but to integrate that marketing right down to our retailers. Stephanie’s skill set makes her the right person to carry this forward.”
In 1997, Peponis spent a year at Toys ‘R’ Us as vice president for strategic planning and business development. She has a degree in quantitative economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.Since officially joining Revlon, Peponis has been focusing on “medium-term planning, as well as marketing research.” Going forward, she said, “I am planning to build off the momentum and paths that we have started to date. We have a solid foundation and we want to continue growing share as we have in the past 12 months.”
Peponis is the latest in a succession of executives appointed to oversee the Revlon brand. Kathy Dwyer served under ceo George Fellows from December 1996 to January 2000. Cheryl Vitali, named to the position by then ceo Jeffrey Nugent, held the job for exactly two years, starting in February 2000. Leipman-Yale succeeded Vitali in 2002.
— Laura Klepacki
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