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New CEO of L’Oréal USA Named

David Greenberg has succeeded Stéphane Rinderknech in the position.

PARIS — L’Oréal sent shockwaves through the beauty industry Friday evening, when it announced the group had named a new chief executive officer for the USA.

The world’s largest cosmetics maker appointed David Greenberg to the role, effective immediately. He also now serves as president of North America Zone for the company and is a member of its executive committee.

Greenberg succeeds Stéphane Rinderknech, who decided to exit L’Oréal after two decades, the company said in a statement.

Rinderknech’s exit was unexpected. Hailed as a rising star and viable candidate to be CEO of L’Oréal’s global operations one day, he was responsible for increasing the company’s China business by 30 percent during his time as CEO of that division. His strength in digital marketing — e-commerce accounted for 40 percent of L’Oréal’s sales in the country when he left — was a key driver behind his appointment in the U.S., where he was charged with accelerating L’Oréal’s digital transformation.

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Greenberg has been at the world’s largest beauty company for more than 28 years, most recently holding the position of president of L’Oréal Professional Products Division in North America.

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He has had leadership roles across markets, divisions, brands and functions. In the Professional Products Division, Greenberg steered the acceleration and business transformation. During his five years in the job, he led the growth of SalonCentric, sped up the business in new channels and modernized the professional products business into a digital, omnichannel model, the company said.

Greenberg also was president of Maybelline, Garnier and Essie in L’Oréal’s Consumer Products Division for eight years. He directed marketing for the L’Oréal Paris brand for six years.

“I have known David for many years. David is one of the architects of L’Oréal’s rise to become the market leader in the U.S., and he still leads with the same entrepreneurial, innovative and competitive mindset,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal, in the statement. “He is a successful team builder. I am very proud to name the first American to head the North America Zone and to join our group’s executive committee. North America Zone is one of our biggest engines of growth, and David is the right person to take our team and business to new heights.”

Of Rinderknech, Hieronimus said: “I take the opportunity to warmly thank Stéphane for his significant contributions to L’Oréal during the last 20 years, notably in China and lately in the U.S., where he leaves a very strong team that will continue to drive our success in North America.”

Rinderknech began helming L’Oréal USA on Jan. 1, 2020, just eight weeks before the coronavirus crisis struck. In the role, he had to fit together many disparate elements of the North American beauty scene — not least of all which was to help restore L’Oréal to significant growth in a market that had stagnated even before the pandemic began.

The business started to boom again. In 2021, L’Oréal’s sales in North America grew 18.1 percent in reported terms, or 22.2 percent on a like-for-like basis, year-over-year to 8.16 billion euros. It was a strong comeback, making North America — where the group’s distribution network was reorganized — along with North Asia the primary growth contributor on a geographic basis.

Rinderknech had a rather meteoric rise through the ranks of L’Oréal. He joined the company in 2001 in Miami, as Lancôme area manager for South America in the travel retail division.

Three years later, he moved to Japan, first as head of Biotherm and then was quickly promoted to run Lancôme, a brand Rinderknech revitalized in that market. In 2008, he was named the head of L’Oréal Luxe in South Korea, where the executive launched Kiehl’s and helped propel it to the number-one skin care brand in the market. In 2011, he moved to China, first as general manager of the Luxe Division, then as head of the Consumer Products Division, and finally, in 2016, he was named CEO of L’Oréal China.

Rinderknech’s approach was to incorporate digital into all aspects of the business, weeding out silos and making sure the entire organization was using all the technological tools at its disposal to drive sales across all platforms.

The executive’s next career steps could not immediately be learned.

For more, see:

L’Oréal Files Trademarks for Virtual Cosmetics

L’Oréal Reports Strong Sales and Profits Gains in 2021

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