Pierre Laubies has been appointed chief executive officer of Coty Inc.
The move comes upon the resignation of Coty’s former ceo, Camillo Pane, who took the helm as Coty acquired 41 beauty brands from Procter & Gamble, in 2016. The company also said that Bart Becht is stepping down as chairman, and Peter Harf will take over the role. Erhard Schoewel has been appointed lead independent director.
The news comes shortly after Coty reported sharp dips in sales for most of its business segments, which it said were mostly because of back-end disruptions. Some of those disruptions were part of the P&G brands integration, but others were caused by Hurricane Florence and component shortages from external suppliers.
Becht was the visionary behind Coty’s acquisition of the P&G specialty beauty portfolio, and was said to be leading the integration charge while Pane focused on increasing sales — something he had a proven track record of doing from his previous post at Reckitt Benckiser, where Becht was once ceo. But challenges in Coty’s Consumer division, which includes CoverGirl, Clairol and Rimmel, were greater than expected, and the segment has yet to turn around. In the most recent quarter, the segment posted a more than 20 percent sales decline, to $828.8 million in sales.
Things in the Professional and Luxury divisions, however, have improved over the years, and both segments have posted gains post acquisition. The Luxury segment has been boosted by big fragrance hits like Gucci Bloom and Tiffany’s, while Professional has improved due to the success of Wella and continued gains from GHD (another fairly recent Coty acquisition).
“We are very grateful for Camillo’s many contributions to Coty during his time as ceo,” said Bart Becht, chairman of Coty. “His leadership was critically important during Coty’s integration of the P&G Specialty Beauty Business. Following the transaction, Camillo greatly accelerated the growth of the Luxury and Professional businesses, built a much stronger management team and delivered on the synergy commitments associated with the transaction. We are all very thankful for Camillo’s valued service, his exemplary leadership and his passion for beauty and Coty’s brands and people over the last years.”
While Becht is stepping down from his role as chairman, he will remain on the company’s board of directors.
New ceo Pierre Laubies is said to be an operational and financial expert. He has worked at Mars and most recently, was the ceo of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, where he successfully integrated the Mondelez coffee business. JDE is backed by JAB Holdings, an investment group that lists Becht is a partner and chairman.