Ukonwa Ojo, the global chief marketing officer of Cover Girl and Sally Hansen, is the latest high-level departure from Coty Inc.’s consumer division. Her exit comes a week after it was announced that Laurent Kleitman, president of the Consumer Beauty division, was being replaced by chief executive officer Pierre Laubies.
“We have tremendous respect for Ukonwa and gratitude for her contributions to Coty. During her two years here, she helped build our global marketing team and capabilities and spearheaded brave brand initiatives,” said a Coty spokesperson in a statement confirming her departure to pursue other opportunities.
Ojo relocated from her post in London with Unilever in 2016 to join Coty as senior vice president of Cover Girl. She was promoted to chief marketing officer, global Cover Girl, Sally Hansen and Consumer Beauty U.S. last summer. Ojo was instrumental in the relaunch of Cover Girl, as well as the debut of the brand’s own store in Manhattan’s Times Square that she said was inspired by events like Beautycon. Despite the spark Ojo injected into the beauty nameplates, the Consumer Beauty division continues to struggle.
Consumer Beauty sales declined last year — down 20.6 percent in the fourth quarter, to $828.8 million. Part of that was because of the supply chain disruptions, but Coty said that the category’s developed markets also deteriorated in the quarter. There were flashes of hope and the consumer brands ended the year on a slightly improved note, but still in the negative, according to Nielsen data tracking the 52-week period ending Dec. 29, 2018.
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Ojo’s departure follows numerous other changes in the Consumer Beauty leadership team, including the exit of Shannon Curtin, who was senior vice president of Consumer Beauty for North America, and that of Camillo Pane, the former ceo, last November.