Karen Fondu at the L’OREAL PARIS Women of Worth Celebration Event

L’Oréal Paris USA president Karen Fondu is stepping down after a 37-year career at the company.

Fondu, who is retiring, started her L’Oréal career in 1979 as a sales representative for hair color before working her way up at the business. Ikdeep Singh will succeed Fondu as general manager for L’Oréal Paris USA.

“Karen Fondu is a highly dedicated and passionate professional who has devoted her entire career to L’Oréal,” said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and chief executive officer of L’Oréal. “Her strategic vision and expert knowledge of building brands and infusing them with inspiration and ambition has made her one of the most recognized and admired professionals in the beauty industry. I want to honor with respect, admiration and affection a very great lady of the L’Oréal organization and wish Karen every happiness and success in this new life that lies ahead of her.”

Fondu has held a variety of positions at the company. She was appointed vice president of sales for the L’Oréal Cosmetics Division, including L’Oréal Paris and later Maybelline in 1992, where she helped integrate Maybelline (which L’Oréal bought in 1995) into the company, as well as grow its position in the U.S. market. In 2000, she was promoted to deputy general manager of Maybelline New York and Garnier, and in 2002 was promoted to president. She moved to her latest role, president of L’Oréal Paris USA, in 2008.

“Karen Fondu’s legacy at L’Oréal goes beyond ever her extraordinary business success and professional achievements,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and ceo of L’Oréal USA. “Over the course of her career, Karen trained, mentored and developed several generations of talent, who have in turn gone on to have remarkable careers and contribute to L’Oréal’s success. Karen also worked tirelessly to engage the community, champion women’s empowerment and expand L’Oréal Paris’ philanthropic initiative, Women of Worth, to celebrate the individual beauty and intrinsic worth of every woman.”

Fondu’s successor, Ikdeep, has been president of L’Oréal Canada’s consumer products division since July 2014. Before joining L’Oréal, Ikdeep was with Procter & Gamble, working in commercial and marketing roles, including for P&G’s hair-care brands. He will report to Michel Brousset, president of L’Oréal USA’s consumer products division.

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