Coty Inc. is building the management team for its new luxury division and has raided Burberry for a key role.
The beauty firm has hired the British luxury brand’s head of beauty Simona Cattaneo as chief marketing officer for the luxury division. She will start at Coty some time this summer.
Cattaneo will be based in Paris, reporting to Edgar Huber, who will be president of Coty Luxury. That division is being created because of the company’s pending acquisition of 41 beauty brands from Procter & Gamble.
“Simona comes from a background where she understands very well [how] to manage the relationship with our licensing partners because she comes from a beauty-slash-luxury, apparel-brand background, which also helps us a lot in terms of managing the relationships we have with licensing partners,” said Huber, adding that Cattaneo will help the luxury unit “welcome new licensing partners.”
“Simona will bring to the organization a very sophisticated sense in terms of product development, she has an extremely proven record in terms of innovation,” Huber said. “Simona has a very elevated sense of luxury and luxury brands because she’s worked at Burberry, where she’s built the beauty business in a very sophisticated way.”
Before Burberry, Cattaneo was at Dior for more than seven years, and before that, she was at L’Oréal, where she worked on Kérastase.
Cattaneo joins Coty as the company prepares to integrate the scores of beauty brands it is acquiring from Procter & Gamble. That $12.5 billion deal will add fragrance licenses for Hugo Boss, Gucci, Lacoste, Bruno Banani, Escada, Mexx, James Bond, Gabriela Sabatini, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen to Coty’s offerings, as well as the luxury skin-care brands Philosophy and Lancaster. In total, Coty is slated to buy 41 brands from P&G which, aside from the fragrance licenses, will add Wella Professionals, Clairol Professional, Nice ‘n Easy, Max Factor, Cover Girl and several other brands. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year, and has prompted the reorganization that is creating the Coty Luxury division. Color cosmetics, retail hair coloring and styling products, plus mass-market body care, will be housed as part of the Coty Consumer Beauty Division, and hair and nail salon-owners will be serviced by the Coty Professional Beauty unit.
Huber, in a statement, said that Cattaneo would help “to build Coty into a true leader and challenger in beauty. Simona brings 20 years of experience in the beauty and luxury industries, across Burberry, Dior and L’Oréal. She has a strong track record of delivering results through an innovative multichannel approach and disruptive marketing plans across retail and digital. Her passion for beauty and for developing products that reinvent how consumers think about beauty is evident in her work, and I am looking forward to seeing her apply that to Coty’s luxury products.”
Cattaneo was a key hire for Burberry, joining the brand in November 2012 shortly after the company decided to buy its fragrance license back from Inter Parfums SA for $222.6 million. At the time, the fragrance division made up about 2 percent of Burberry’s revenues and 5 to 7 percent of the business’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. “To maintain flexibility in pursuing its objective to develop fully this business in the future, Burberry has served notice of its intention to terminate the license agreement with the effect from Dec. 31, 2012,” the company said when the news was revealed. Burberry’s fragrances are currently distributed through Shiseido subsidiary Beauté Prestige International.
When Cattaneo started at Burberry, then chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts declined to name her key hires, and said only: “We’re very fortunate to have lured top talent.” During her time at the brand as senior vice president of beauty, Cattaneo launched My Burberry, as well as the Brit Rhythm fragrances and Mr. Burberry. The Burberry Beauty Box makeup retail concept rolled out across London and Asia during her time at the group.
Earlier this year, Burberry said it expected double-digit percentage underlying growth in beauty in the second half of the year, driven by sales to distributors of Mr. Burberry and offset by some destocking. Back in 2013, Ahrendts said color cosmetics could make up 40 percent to 50 percent of the overall beauty business in the long-term. Burberry chief operating officer John Smith said in 2014 that skin care was in the pipeline, and that the company would look to partner with experts in the field. Burberry is set to report its second half trading update next week, and reveal full results for fiscal 2016 year in May.