NEW YORK — In a dramatic shift, Fabrice Weber has been put in charge of the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of Estée Lauder Cos., succeeding John Karp, who will leave the company at the end of the month.

Weber will take over as president of the division on Jan. 1, overseeing Aramis, Lab Series for Men, Tommy Hilfiger Fragrances, Donna Karan Cosmetics, Michael Kors and Kiton. He will report to group president Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne.

Before joining Lauder, Weber was the general manager of Chanel’s Fragrance and Beauty division in Japan, and before that, he held a series of marketing and sales posts at L’Oréal in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Weber, in turn, will be succeeded by Olivier Bottrie as senior vice president and general manager of travel retailing. Since May 2002, he has been regional vice president, field sales Northeast for Lauder. He will report to Cedric Prouvé, group president of international.

Bottrie joined Lauder in January 1996 from Yves Saint Laurent Parfums and has held a number of sales and marketing positions, including vice president and general manager for travel retailing for the Americas and vice president and general manager of Aramis and designer fragrances international.

Bousquet-Chavanne said of Weber, “He has successfully guided our critically important travel retail area through three challenging years and has the experience and perspective to direct these important brands in their next phase of growth, both domestically and abroad.”

In a telephone interview from Milan, Bousquet-Chavanne praised Weber as “a very imaginative global thinker with a great awareness of global market and a creative sensibility, which is essential.”

Bousquet-Chavanne predicted great growth out of the division, envisioning each of the brands climbing into the top rank. The recently acquired Michael Kors brand is still in its infancy, “Donna Karan has tremendous potential overseas and Tommy Hilfiger has potential as well as [the apparel company] refocuses the brand in the U.S.”

Karp joined Lauder in 1979 as manager of the Lauder brand for the U.K. He left in 1987 to launch Shiseido in Great Britain as managing director, then returned in 1992 as vice president and general manager of Aramis International, where he spearheaded the rapid development of Aramis. He has been in charge of the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division since it was formed in 2002.“John is an acknowledged dean of the fragrance world who has consistently demonstrated leadership and vision in this most dynamic — and, in recent years, most challenging — sector of our business,” Bousquet-Chavanne said in a statement. “John has achieved superior results, from his careful stewardship of the Aramis franchise to his innovative animation of the Tommy Hilfiger range to the international development of the Donna Karan franchise to his outstanding direction of the launch of Aramis Life with Andre Agassi.”

Bousquet-Chavanne added that Karp is moving on after many years with the company. “He moved the mark,” he said. “The international organization has grown in a time of a challenging fragrance industry. Aramis Life was his baby. He will do very well wherever he goes next.”

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