PARFUMS DIOR CHIEF BEETZ STEPS DOWN

Byline: Jennifer Weil

PARIS — Berndt Beetz has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Parfums Christian Dior after barely two years on the job, it was learned Tuesday. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Patrick Choel, president of the fragrance and beauty division at parent company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Neither Choel nor Beetz could be reached for comment.
Parfums Christian Dior is the keystone of LVMH’s beauty empire, which also includes Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo and Guerlain, among others. Its 1999 women’s fragrance J’Adore, which was launched some months after Beetz’s December 1998 Dior appointment, still tops perfumery charts Europe-wide.
Beetz — a former Proctor & Gamble executive who oversaw marketing in France and Germany, and directed affiliates in Switzerland, Italy and Turkey — is the second Parfums Christian Dior president to hold office in the last three years. His predecessor, Jacques Liget, resigned from the company after a year, reportedly due to difficulties in making the transition from overseeing a packaging company to heading up a luxury brand.
Neither Beetz’s reasons for leaving Dior nor his next career step was learned.
The Dior beauty business image has moved closer over the past few years to that of Christian Dior SA, which represents Dior ready-to-wear, couture and accessories, and is one of the holding companies through which Bernard Arnault controls LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The beauty business is perpetually taking more of its cues from the fashion side by becoming more innovative and daring. For summer 2001, for instance, it is launching a playful ephemeral nail polish, called Voile de Nacre, which includes a clear liquid undercoat and colorful, iridescent powders to be applied on top. The color lasts for up to two days.