Sebastien Guillon and Michelle Freyre, former global president of beauty and U.S. president of beauty, respectively, at Johnson & Johnson, have exited amidst a restructuring of the health-care giant’s beauty business, which has been streamlined to focus on areas where sales are growing — primarily skin care. The division is now run by Deeptha Khanna in the new position of global president, skin health and the office of marketing value. In the U.S., Duda Kertész has been named U.S. president of skin health. Khanna and Kertész’s roles took effect on July 1.
“Recently, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health reinvigorated our business model, streamlining priorities to focus on high-growth and high potential consumer impact segments,” a spokesperson for the company told WWD. “Our business unit formerly known as Beauty has been broadened and reshaped in Skin Health.”
The Skin Health division includes brands such as mass market skin-care labels Neutrogena and Aveeno and prestige skin-care lines Neostrata and Exuviance, as well as the company’s baby-care portfolio that includes Johnson’s, Aveeno Baby and Desitin. Earlier in the year, Aveeno’s hair business was rolled into Vogue International’s portfolio, where it was re-branded and relaunched in the spring. Vogue, acquired by J&J in 2016, is responsible for OGX and Maui Moisture, two of the top-selling hair-care brands in the mass market.
Freyre and Guillon “are seeking external opportunities outside the company” as a result of the restructuring, according to the spokesperson, who did not clarify when exactly the division’s former top leadership departed.
Khanna and Kertész are both internal hires. Khanna previously oversaw baby care out of the company’s New Brunswick, N.J.-based headquarters, while Kertész ran the U.S. consumer health business, including brands such as Band-Aid, Listerine and Neosporin.
The company’s beauty division has focused of late on beauty tech and incubated skin-care brands, launching a Clean & Clear offshoot C&C targeted at Gen Z and a prestige line of skin care called WorksBeauty for Amazon, and debuting its digital beauty innovation group at CES. Last year, Johnson & Johnson paid $2.1 billion for Japan-based Ci:z Holdings Co., Dr.Ci:Labo, Labo Labo and Genomer, all skin-care brands. Labo Labo specifically targets Gen Z.
Johnson & Johnson’s beauty business is just a small fraction of the larger company, netting $4.4 billion in sales out of the company’s overall $81.6 billion in 2018. Global beauty sales were up 4.3 percent last year, and up 2.9 percent to $2.4 billion in the U.S., driven by skin-care growth in the Asia-Pacific region and expanded international distribution on OGX and Maui Moisture.
Beauty has mostly evaded the media scrutiny that Johnson & Johnson is facing due to scores of high-profile lawsuits over its health-care products, including opioids, talcum powder and anti-stroke drugs. As reported by WWD, the Neutrogena brand this year voluntarily recalled its popular Light Therapy Acne Mask over possible risk of eye injury due to lack of proper protection from the LED light in the product.
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