LONDON — Sarah Rotheram has been named chief executive officer of Creed fragrances, which was purchased earlier this year by BlackRock Long Term Private Capital and Javier Ferrán, the Spanish businessman and chairman of Diageo.
Rotheram, who specializes in managing niche luxury and premium brands, has already taken up her post, and reports to Ferrán, Creed’s chairman. She is the first ceo under the new ownership.
Creed was family owned for more than 250 years before being purchased by BlackRock LTPC and Ferrán.
Previously, Rotheram was ceo of Miller Harris Perfumer, and has held executive positions at Penhaligons, L’Artisan Parfumeur and Aspinal of London.
Creed said Rotheram has “a thoughtful and sensitive approach to building luxury brands, and extensive experience in brand strengthening and growth, especially in relation to the development of e-commerce platforms.”
Rotheram is also a sustainability advocate, and community builder. At Miller Harris, she organized art exhibitions and lessons in foraging ingredients as part of the brand’s in-store implementations.
“Today is not about selling a perfume, you can’t engage with customers over and over again by selling to them. Marketing as we knew it is gone. Today it’s all about authenticity and integrity and sharing a community with our customers,” she said during the Pitti Fragranze event in Italy last year.
At a panel discussion organized by Positive Luxury in 2018, Rotheram said Miller Harris was taking strategic steps to reduce waste, such as wrapping Christmas products in 100 percent silk scarves, while the company has also committed to using recycled and recyclable packaging, ditching palm oil and offering hard soaps rather than gel ones, eliminating the need for bottles.
In her job at Creed, she’ll be working alongside the new owners and members of the family.
Olivier Creed, the sixth generation owner of the company, remains master perfumer and his son, Erwin Creed, is also involved in the business.
Oliver is a direct descendant of James Henry Creed, who founded the original business during the reign of King George III of England. He said that given the perfumer’s history, “it was critical that, when the time was right, I was able to choose the best partners who would be able to maintain our heritage as a luxury family business while helping us reach more people around the world.”
Men’s fragrances make up about 70 percent of Creed’s business, and the house has been working on increasing its women’s fragrance division to account for 35 to 40 percent.
Industry sources estimate that Creed’s revenues are in excess of $200 million.
Creed was established in 1760, first as a tailor, and later a fragrance house. Over the years, the Creed family has produced more than 200 perfumes, including the cult men’s fragrance Aventus, Viking, Himalaya and Green Irish Tweed.
Based in Paris, with a factory in nearby Fontainebleau, Creed manufactures many of its own essences using a traditional infusion technique that enables Creed to maintain the quality and authenticity of its fragrances.