Bill George, president and chief operating officer of Markwins Beauty Brands will add Physicians Formula to the roster of brands he currently oversees as the company moves toward a new organizational structure. Jeff Rogers, a longtime senior manager and president of Physicians Formula announced his resignation to spend more time with his family.
George is credited with expanding several of Markwins’ brands, especially Wet ‘n Wild and most recently Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker which the company acquired last year, during his 17-year span with the company. He also played a major role in brand acquisitions such as Physicians Formula. Retailers credit him with possessing a firm handle on major market trends along with the ability to inject consumer excitement into its portfolio.
“Markwins Beauty Brands has experienced exceptional growth, especially in the past two years, and our aim is to increase investments that propel future opportunities across all international trading regions,” said Eric Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of Markwins. “In our rich 32-year history, I believe the next three to five years will be the most dynamic for our company.”
Markwins, with estimated sales of $403.8 million by WWD Beauty Inc Top 100, recently registered a 16.9 percent jump in sales for the first quarter of 2016 across its beauty brand portfolio, according to Nielsen data for the period ended March 30, 2016. This outpaces the industry average for the same period, which was held to 3.9 percent.
George’s appointment is the first step in a three-pronged revamp of its organizational structure. The company plans to consolidate its branded portfolio to have dedicated customer service-centric sales, marketing and analytic support across all global regions. Greater investment is in the works dedicated to product innovation. That includes upgrades to existing research and development centers in Los Angeles and Shenzhen, China along with investments in talent and resources. A new satellite facility is planned in Shanghai. The efforts are directed at ramping up the evolution of its brands which deliver on trend beauty at accessible price points. A few recent success examples include Wet ‘n Wild’s 1 Step WonderGel which debuted in January and was the industry’s number-one launch of the year, according to the company; Physicians Formula’s Mineral Wear Cushion Foundation, and Black Radiance True Complexion Match Me Foundation. As part of its reboot of Lip Smacker, Markwins forged a partnership with Disney’s Tsum Tsum.
The company said the new structure will allow Markwins Beauty Brands to further build sales of logos by focusing its sales team on key retailers and brand specific marketing plans. That will open the way for Markwins to leverage the efficiency of shared services while investing in initiatives to improve customer engagement and rev up product innovations.
“This is the next logical progression in our ongoing effort to accelerate our growth trajectory and maximize value and service for our customers,” George said.
Rogers is the second top executive to depart Physicians Formula in the past year. Former ceo Ingrid Jackel left last summer and is now in that same role at Yes To Inc. Rogers, a seasoned beauty veteran who in addition to Physicians Formula held key roles at Del Laboratories and Revlon. “Jeff has some of the best contacts in the business,” said one retailer, adding that along with Jackel the company helped expand Physicians Formula’s footprint. Rogers was not available to be reached for further comment.