Laurent Kleitman

Laurent Kleitman has been named the new president and chief executive officer of Parfums Christian Dior. He succeeds Claude Martinez in the post and starts Wednesday, according to an internal announcement seen by WWD.

Martinez had headed up the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand for the past 19 years. It is believed the executive will continue his supervision of Guerlain, Givenchy Parfums and Parfums Kenzo, as well as Parfums Christian Dior.

Kleitman most recently served as the president of Coty Inc.’s consumer beauty division, based in New York. Between 2012 and 2017, he worked at Unilever, in posts such as executive vice president of the global hair-care category, based in London, and ceo of Unilever Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, based in Moscow, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kleitman also was general manager and president of One Dior in Russia and CIS after working at Unilever for 19 years.

Martinez built Dior into the jewel of the crown of LVMH’s fragrance and beauty division, with wholesale revenues upward of 2.5 billion euros, and fragrance ringing up about 40 percent of sales; makeup, 30 percent, and skin care, 20 percent, according to industry estimates.

Top markets for Dior beauty are China, the U.S., France, Japan and the U.K. Among its best-selling products are J’Adore, Miss Dior and Sauvage in fragrance.

Under Martinez, Dior ramped up its affiliation with brand ambassadors, which include Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence and Johnny Depp. It also invested in patrimony. The company purchased its founding designer’s house, the Château de la Colle Noire, for instance.

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