PARIS — Shiseido Co. Ltd. is gearing up its drive in the perfume category, naming Isabelle Gex as president of global fragrances — a newly created position — starting June 11.
In the role, the executive will oversee the Dolce & Gabbana, Narciso Rodriguez, Issey Miyake, Elie Saab, Zadig & Voltaire, Alaïa and Serge Lutens perfume brands, as well as the company’s fragrance center of excellence in Paris.
Her remit is to lead and expand Shiseido’s perfume business worldwide.
Fragrance has been a main focus for the Japanese group. In late 2016, it said an aim was to grow its share of the global perfume market to 9 percent by 2020, up from 5.8 percent at the time.
The acquisition of the Dolce & Gabbana fragrance license in October 2016 more than doubled Shiseido’s share of the fragrance market to that 5.8 percent.
“[Isabelle Gex] will set the growth strategy by developing the fragrance category vision and mid-term plans,” Shiseido said in a statement. “She will also look for external growth opportunities through brand and/or license acquisitions, while seeking to build and inspire a highly qualified team and maximize their performance.”
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Gex will report to Franck Marilly, president and chief executive officer of Shiseido EMEA, and to Masahiko Uotani, representative director, president and ceo of Shiseido Co. Ltd.
Audrey Briotet, global brand vice president of Dolce & Gabbana, and Guillaume Gelluseau, who is global vice president of designer brands, of Serge Lutens and of the fragrance center of excellence, will report to Gex.
She has spent more than 25 years working the beauty and fragrance world. For the past two years Gex has served as ceo and founder of StratLux, where she was a business angel and mentor for start-ups in luxury, fashion and art, and acted as a senior adviser in business development and branding. Prior to that, from 2015 to 2017, she served as senior executive adviser, mergers and acquisitions for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s perfumes and cosmetics division.
From 2008 to 2015, she was global president of Parfums Luxe International and also held roles at Parfums Givenchy and Chanel.
“Isabelle is a highly respected industry executive with a successful multitrack record of fragrance launches and expertise that will benefit our entire brand portfolio,” Marilly said in the statement. “I am sure that her visionary, strategic and strong brand management skills in combination with her customer-centric know-how and digital/e-commerce-driven approach will allow us to reach our high expectations for the fragrance category.”
“The addition of Isabelle to our global management leadership team is a significant step for Shiseido to accelerate the growth of our fragrance business to achieve our aspirations toward and beyond 2020,” Uotani said. “Her rich experience in the global beauty business as well as entrepreneurial spirit will play an important role in the next stage of the transformational journey of Shiseido.”
Tokyo-based Shiseido’s other brands include Clé de Peau Beauté, BareMinerals, Nars Cosmetics, Laura Mercier and Sea Breeze.
As reported, the company more than doubled its net income in the fiscal first quarter, due mainly to strong growth in sales of prestige product lines that afford higher profit margins than drugstore brands.
For the three months ended March 31, Japan’s largest cosmetics company posted net income of 28.87 billion yen, or $263.4 million, up from 14 billion yen same prior-year period.
Net sales gained 13.5 percent to 263.76 billion yen, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for Shiseido.