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EXCLUSIVE: QVC Appoints Rob Robillard to Lead Beauty

Robillard starts immediately in his new role — vice president of beauty merchandising.

QVC has a new head of beauty.

Rob Robillard has been named vice president of beauty merchandising for QVC and Beauty iQ in the U.S., WWD has learned. He will report to Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer and executive vice president for QVC.

Rachel Ungaro, who was overseeing beauty along with apparel, accessories and jewelry, has been named vice president of apparel merchandising, design and global sourcing.

In his new role — also a first for QVC — Robillard will focus on business growth strategies, customer engagement and merchandise strategies for beauty as well as “other QVC key product categories,” expanding on the current offerings and further developing existing vendor relationships, QVC said in a statement.

“We are excited to welcome Rob and his vast knowledge of the beauty industry,” said Howe. “Rob’s leadership and profound understanding of prestige beauty will be a valuable addition to our organization as we continue to grow our beauty business.”

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Robillard is a beauty industry veteran who got his start at L’Oréal, where he served in various leadership roles with the L’Oréal Paris and Kiehl’s Since 1851 brands — including senior vice president of marketing for L’Oréal Paris and worldwide general manager for Kiehl’s. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Sensible Organics, a certified organic manufacturer of personal-care products. Prior to that, he held a yearlong stint as chief executive officer of Berkley, Calif.-based ICU Eyewear. Until 2011 he was president and ceo of Living Proof, where he was credited with growing the brand from a small research and development firm to a fast-growing prestige beauty brand.

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“When looking at the current retail landscape, it is readily apparent that QVC is extremely well positioned to be both an innovator and pioneer in the prestige beauty industry,” said Robillard. “This is such an exciting and pivotal time for the company, and I look forward to working with the team to not only help realize QVC’s vision of creating the most engaging shopping experience in all of retail, but to solidify QVC’s place as one of the most prominent players in the world of beauty.”

QVC has significantly ramped up its commitment to beauty in the past year. In October of last year, it launched Beauty iQ, a stand-alone selling platform for prestige beauty brands.

U.S. revenue dipped 4 percent for QVC’s second quarter — jewelry, hair care and handbags were the company’s most challenged categories, QVC’s president and ceo Mike George said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call. Despite sales losses in hair care and decline coming from its largest hair brand, George noted the rest of the beauty category is solid and QVC is focused on adding brands while growing its “powerhouse brands” such as IT Cosmetics, Josie Maran and Philosophy.

In the third quarter, QVC launched 20 beauty brands, including Lollia, Ever Skincare and Kim Gravel Beauty.

For more on QVC from WWD, see:

QVC Reorganizes Management in Preparation for Absorbing HSN

QVC, YouCam Makeup Team for First TV-Mobile Augmented Reality Shopping Experience

Skinfix Gears Up for Prestige Launch on QVC

QVC and CEW Host Fifth Annual Beauty With Benefits