The Honest Co. is getting a new set of hands on the wheel as it steers a path toward a more multichannel and consumer products-focused future.
The better-for-you company named Clorox veteran Nick Vlahos as chief executive officer Thursday. He takes over from cofounder and serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, who will remain on the board and serve as an adviser to the six-year-old company.
“With our strategic shift from e-commerce to an omnichannel brand under way, this is the perfect time to welcome Nick Vlahos as the new ceo of The Honest Company,” said Jessica Alba, founder and chairman. “Nick shares our mission of building a modern brand with ethical standards, trust and transparency at the forefront. The sky’s the limit for what Honest can become and I look forward to working alongside Nick on the next phase of our journey.”
The Chicago native will also join Honest’s board and is charged with overseeing the company’s “continuing accelerated growth agenda with an added focus on innovation, retail distribution, digital marketing and global expansion.”
Honest’s sales topped $300 million last year as the company pivoted from an e-commerce-heavy approach to one that looks to integrate clicks and bricks, cutting about 80 jobs along the way. The company has been expanding its wholesale business, introducing extensive product assortments in CVS, Babies “R” Us and other major retailers with support from its first brand campaign, #HonestMoments.
The buzzy company turned Alba into a role model for celebrities looking to get behind the scenes in a corporate setting and build brands outside of entertainment.
Honest expanded into beauty in 2015, but hit some bumps in the road, including complaints that its sunscreen and the naturalness of its products hadn’t lived up to their billing.
Last year, the company tapped Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley to explore an initial public offering or sale. The firm was said at one point to be in exclusive talks with Unilever, before it pivoted and bought Seventh Generation for $700 million.
Now it appears the label is looking to build itself up and Vlahos certainly knows his way around big business.
At Clorox, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer, responsible for about $3 billion in sales in the company’s household and lifestyle segment, as well as sales, marketing research and development, information technology and product supply.
He helped drive domestic and international growth the company’s brands, including Burt’s Bees, across 40 countries.
“I look forward to building upon The Honest Company’s continued success and helping to accelerate innovation and growth,” Vlahos said.
Lee offered words of praise for his successor.
“It has been our strategy to evolve the company into an omnichannel brand and Nick’s tremendous background building global [consumer products goods] brands makes him the ideal person to lead us there,” he said.
Alba credited Lee as “critical to Honest’s success” and said “adding Nick to a team that includes Brian’s deep experience and valuable insight will be critical as Honest evolves into a multichannel, 21st-century brand.”
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