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EXCLUSIVE: Martin Brok Named Sephora CEO, Succeeding Chris de Lapuente

Martin Brok, a former Starbucks executive, will report to Chris de Lapuente, who is adding other responsibilities within parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

PARIS — There’s a new executive structure at Sephora, with Martin Brok joining the world’s largest prestige beauty retailer as president and chief executive officer, reporting to Chris de Lapuente, who previously led the chain for 10 years.

Brok, who most recently was Starbucks Inc.’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, will start at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Sephora on Sept. 14.

De Lapuente remains a member of LVMH’s executive committee and will take on additional responsibilities at the group, which will be announced later.

“I want to thank Chris for transforming Sephora over the last decade to be one of the world’s most successful retail brands with a unique culture and a formidably strong organization,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and ceo of LVMH, said in a statement.

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“Under Chris’ leadership Sephora has tripled sales and profits, emerging as the only truly global beauty retailer and establishing itself as the industry’s foremost innovator,” continued Arnault. “Sephora is now positioned as a global beauty powerhouse, with a superb omnichannel presence.

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Arnault said Brok would be charged with “creating the next breakthrough chapter at Sephora,” highlighting his “extensive international leadership experience in multiple fast-paced and client-oriented businesses at a crucial moment of change for global retailing.”

De Lapuente, meanwhile, said Brok “embodies all that is precious in our Sephora culture: a passion for winning, for building and nurturing people, a curiosity and desire to keep learning and growing, a client-oriented outlook that embraces our omnichannel worldview.”

Chris de Lapuente
Chris de Lapuente Courtesy of Jean-Francois Robert/LVMH

In a letter addressed to Sephora’s more than 35,000 employees, which was seen by WWD, de Lapuente said the executive shake-up would “fire up our innovation and accelerate our quest to be the world’s most loved beauty community.”

De Lapuente said of Brok: “Throughout his professional life, he has driven the growth of brands that have continuously reinvented their customer experience, which is precisely what Sephora needs to do in the fast-changing world of beauty retailing.”

Brok held his most recent job at Starbucks since 2016. Prior to that, beginning in 2007, he worked at Nike Inc. in general management positions, then as global chief operating officer of direct-to-consumer and vice president of global product and merchandise operations and analytics.

Brok spent seven years at Burger King Corp., where he had numerous leadership roles, and in 1989 joined The Coca-Cola Co. as an account executive.

De Lapuente explained that for some time he thought \ if Sephora is to double its business again, it needs a full-time ceo who can focus on the business to make the changes needed to reinforce its leadership in prestige beauty.

“It has been such an honor and privilege for me to lead the Sephora community over the last decade,” continued de Lapuente. “However, this milestone has been a good moment to reflect on where we are, especially during the disruptive circumstances of the last few months.”

Two years ago, de Lapuente’s remit was expanded to include not only Sephora, but also oversight of department store Le Bon Marché and the brands in LVMH’s perfumes and cosmetics division, except for Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy Parfums and Kenzo Parfums, which report to Claude Martinez.

“After 10 years in the job, I decided we would be best served by the arrival of a new ceo, who can bring fresh energy to our day-to-day challenges and lead the charge in defining the next chapter of growth at Sephora, while I provide full support in helping him drive the breakthrough projects we need,” he said.

Sephora is present in 36 countries with more than 2,600 stores.