PARIS — Just days after reporting a steep rise in 2017 profits, Puig said it has promoted José Manuel Albesa to the newly created role of president brands, markets and operations.
Previously chief brand officer at the Spanish fragrance and fashion company, Albesa will be in charge of ensuring “the efficient alignment of Puig brands and markets,” while driving the group’s “ambitious transformation agenda,” Puig said in a statement.
Puig, which specializes in building fragrance brands — such as Valentino, Prada, Nina Ricci and Jean Paul Gaultier — through creative storytelling, generates the lion’s share of its business from perfumes.
The group has set itself an annual revenues goal of 3 billion euros by 2025, after falling just short of the 2-billion-euro mark last year due to the negative impact of exchange rate variations. To help reach the objective, it is launching a collaborative platform called Puig Futures aimed at enriching consumers’ overall experience.
“José Manuel has proven himself to be a disruptive strategic thinker and change maker,” said Marc Puig, chairman and chief executive officer of Puig. “He is uniquely equipped to push creativity and innovation at Puig, as we build out our vision of reinventing the fragrance category.”
Puig Futures is a three-pronged platform involving developing new “disruptive” business models, partnerships with companies and taking minority stakes in third-party enterprises related to the fragrance category. It will back innovative projects with capital, experience and commercial opportunities.
“The willingness to take risks, while connecting the dots, is a defining quality of Puig,” said Albesa. “With daring ideas, alternative business models and the most creative teams, we want to disrupt the category with our brands and invent the future of the fragrance industry. I look forward to taking on the most stimulating challenge of my career.”
Albesa, who joined Puig in 1998, holds degrees in economics and business and received an MBA from the University of Houston.
He has steadily risen through the group’s ranks. Last year, Albesa added responsibility for the Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier fashion houses to his portfolio, following the departure of Ralph Toledano, the former president of Puig fashion.
The move was seen as signaling that more synergies would be implemented between Puig’s fashion and perfume activities than in the past, when they were kept largely separate.
Among his tasks in the next few months, Albesa must name a new creative director at Nina Ricci, following the departure of Guillaume Henry in March after three years in the job. The brand recently welcomed Charlotte Tasset in the newly created post of general manager fashion and fragrances.
Sales at Puig totaled 1.94 billion euros last year, up 8.1 percent versus 2016. Net profits rose 47 percent to 228 million euros in 2017, the end of its most recent three-year plan.
Puig in 2015 opted to make a major investment behind its brands, including the integration of the Gaultier perfume business, to the detriment of profits in the short-term. Puig’s view was that profits would bounce back to pre-2015 levels and that it would have a more sustainable business in time.