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Shiseido Taps Ronald Gee for CFO Role, Americas

Gee will be tasked with leading the American finance and information technology operations for the Tokyo-based beauty giant.

Ronald Gee has been named chief financial officer of Shiseido Americas. His role will become effective on April 22 of this year.

Gee is replacing Frank Toscano, who has served as the interim cfo for the American subsidiary of the Tokyo-based beauty giant since October 2014. Toscano will remain with the company on a consultant basis, where he will work on various “internal projects.”

Gee will be tasked with leading the American finance and information technology operations for Shiseido.

“A continued commitment to financial and organizational planning will be key to executing Shiseido’s strategy in the Americas, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to help fulfill that vision,” said Gee.

Most recently, Gee served as cfo of Coty Inc.’s American business, and prior to that he worked at L’Oréal USA for 10 years, where he held various positions, his most recent being the vice president of finance for the company’s international designer collections.

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The new appointment comes in the wake of upheavals led by Masahiko Uotani, the president and ceo of Shiseido Co. Ltd. in Tokyo, who joined the company in 2014. He is the first outsider who has been tapped for the company’s top spot in its 140-plus-year history.

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Last July, it was announced that Heidi Manheimer would be leaving the helm of Shiseido Cosmetics Americas, the U.S. subsidiary for the Shiseido and Clé de Peau Beauté brands. Marc Rey joined the company in August as president and ceo of Shiseido Americas, overseeing and managing Shiseido’s U.S. business, including Shiseido Cosmetics Americas, Beauté Prestige Interational USA, NARS Cosmetics and Bare Escentuals, along with the company’s subsidiaries in Canada and Brazil. Rey was tasked with with developing a strategic regional vision for Shiseido’s American business, along with enhancing the company’s operational structure and focusing on its prestige positioning within the market.

“Ron is a proven leader in operational integration and maximizing the potential of a range of cosmetics brands,” said Rey. “His vision will be critical as we continue developing our corporate team to support the growing needs of our businesses and work towards our global strategy, Vision 2020.”

In August 2014, WWD Beauty Inc reported that Uotani planned to strengthen Shiseido’s brand value by consolidating the company’s portfolio and eliminating small, unprofitable brands, making way for the development and introduction of new brands and entry into new markets. Uotani’s strategy is to increase the visibility and market share of Shiseido-branded products, while acquiring more strong, recognizable brands to add to its portfolio.

Furthermore, Uotani announced plans to strengthen the individual regional headquarters for Shiseido subsidiaries, in order to run marketing and finance locally and to promote region-specific products.

“Fundamentally, the transformation of this company is needed and everybody sees it,” Uotani said.