Bare Escentuals has a new leader at the helm: Simon Cowell, who has been named chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Cowell, previously the brand’s chief marketing officer, steps into the role as Myles McCormick, the previous ceo, departs. McCormick had assumed the role after Shiseido acquired Bare Escentuals in 2010 for $1.8 billion.

In the ceo role, Cowell will be responsible for overseeing corporate strategy for the company’s brand portfolio, which includes Bare Minerals, Buxom and MD Formulations.

The appointment is effective immediately.

McCormick had joined Bare Escentuals as chief financial officer in 2004, when the company was readying itself for its 2006 initial public offering, adding duties as chief operating officer a short time later. He is credited with leading the company through the acquisition and integration, as well as the launch of Bare Minerals Ready, the company’s newest cosmetics line.

“When [former ceo] Leslie Blodgett became executive chairman and tapped me to step into the ceo role, with my background in transitions and organizing companies for growth, we agreed my main goals would be to navigate the company through the transition process, build an executive leadership team, and position the company for long-term growth,” McCormick stated. “Now that the transition is complete and the team and business are in a solid place, it became increasingly clear that what the company now needs is someone that has the vision and passion to further develop and evolve the brand. Simon is precisely the leader to take on this new challenge.”

Cowell joined Bare Escentuals in 2008, after spending 15 years at The Body Shop. While he joined the company in a merchandising role, he soon became vice president of marketing, then senior vice president, and was named chief marketing officer in 2010. In the cmo role, he was credited with defining the company’s marketing model, developing the brand’s first global advertising campaign and implementing a long-term innovation pipeline.

“Myles was my right hand in building this business to where it is today,” stated Blodgett. “I want to personally thank him for his partnership and passion over the last seven years. I am also very confident in the future of Bare Escentuals and I am looking forward to the amazing places that Simon will take this company.”

Bare Escentuals is currently available in more than 6,000 doors in 31 countries, including about 200 company-owned boutiques. Globally, the company is preparing to make a major push into Asia — which includes a line specifically formulated for Asian skin, which bows in Japan in March. It also is planning for a May launch of Bare Minerals in Brazil. With retailer Sephora, the brand is now available in Mexico and Southeast Asia, among other markets.

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