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Background Check: Martin Brok, Sephora’s New CEO

Martin Brok, a former Starbucks executive, will be joining the world’s largest perfumery chain on Sept. 14.

Martin Brok will assume the role of Sephora president and chief executive officer on Sept. 14, succeeding Chris de Lapuente, who has steered the world’s largest perfumery chain — and tripled its sales and profits — over the past decade.

Brok will report to de Lapuente, who sits on the executive committee of Sephora’s parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and oversees Le Bon Marché department store as well as many of the group’s perfume and cosmetics brands. De Lapuente will also be taking on more, yet-to-be-announced responsibilities at the group.

He told WWD that for Sephora: “I wanted a leader who was going to fit in the culture and take it to the next level. My remit will be to help him succeed and accelerate the breakthrough projects.”

Here are some facts about Sephora’s incoming ceo.

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• Brok is Dutch

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• Aged 53

• His career spans numerous product categories, including beverages, fast foods, sporting goods and coffee, at Coca-Cola, Burger King, Nike and Starbucks, respectively. This will be his first foray into beauty.

• For the past four years, he has served as Starbuck’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

• Parallels abound between his strategic focus at Starbucks and what he’ll be expected to home in on at Sephora. When he was charged with heading up Starbucks’ EMEA region in summer 2016, he was quoted as saying in a statement: “We’ll focus on further elevating the brand across retail, channel development and digital through innovation, creating new occasions and deepening our connection with existing customers and engaging new ones.”

• Brok has in-depth knowledge of experiential retail and cross-culture fertilization. An example: He opened in 2018 Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery in Milan, the spectacular retail space in the city’s turn-of-the-century Palazzo delle Poste that serves locally roasted coffee and allows guests to learn about the art and science of coffee.

• He is civic-minded. In 2017, Brok led the coffee chain’s program aimed at hiring 2,500 refugees to work in its European stores.

• He walks the sustainability talk. While Brok was at Starbucks, the chain launched the first paper cup charge (at 5 pence) in London in a bid to encourage customers to bring in reusable cups in 2018. And last year, Starbucks launched an airport reusable cup trial in partnership with environmental charity Hubbub at London’s Gatwick Airport, for instance.

• Brok is a citizen of the world, having lived in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K.

• He speaks five languages.

• Brok has the same number of children.

• Outside work, Brok sits on the board of directors at Anytime Fitness and London First, according to his LinkedIn profile.

• He likes travel, soccer, Formula 1 and running.

• Brok attended Georgia State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and International Business from 1984 to 1988, according to his LinkedIn profile.