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Symrise Shifts Two Senior Executives

NEW YORK — It’s a new dawn at Symrise.

The fragrance supplier has reorganized its upper management structure, naming Kathy Cullin president of the global fine fragrances business unit at Symrise. Previously, Cullin had been president of the company’s U.S. fine fragrances division.

Symrise was established in 2002 when two fragrance suppliers, Dragoco and Haarman and Reimer, merged. In the initial phase of operations, Roger Schmid was named president of Symrise’s global fine fragrances worldwide and Tim Schaffner was named president of fragrance and cosmetics worldwide, overseeing the entire firm, including its consumer products divisions, which supply fragrances for items like hair care.

In the new structure, Cullin takes over Schmid’s former job and Schmid will take on a new role: that of chief innovation officer, charged with expanding Symrise’s creative image. Both Cullin and Schmid now report to Schaffner.

In her new role, Cullin will be responsible for the international development of Symrise’s fine fragrance sector. She’s no stranger to the prestige market. Before joining Symrise, she had served as general manager at Puig North America and president of Puig USA. Prior to that position, she had held other managerial positions at Puig Beauty and Fashion, and before joining Puig, had spent 14 years at Calvin Klein Cosmetics.

Cullin is eager to, as she put it, “combine my experience in the retail and manufacturer sectors with the outstanding creative talent at Symrise — which will immediately impact the global organization in translating the needs of our customers.

“We can’t continue to think in traditional ways in creating fragrances going forward,” she added. “It’s critical to have a strong point of view.” To that end, greater investments will be made in several areas, including olfactive research, she said.

Schmid’s responsibilities will include examining strategic partnerships in the areas of fashion, art and design, as well as developing projects for the fragrance division’s image and communications efforts. One of Schmid’s first initiatives will come with Milan’s Universita dell’Immagine, of which he was a co-founder in 1998 with Fabrizio Ferri. The school specializes in what it calls “synaesthetics” — the concept of connecting all activities linked to the senses. Symrise has entered into a long-term sponsorship of the school, and an education center for Symrise and its clients will be built there by the end of the year. As well, there are plans to bring a branch of the school to the U.S. within the next few years. — Julie Naughton

This story first appeared in the September 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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