LANCASTER OUTLINES REORGANIZATION
Byline: Jennifer Weil
PARIS — The Lancaster Group — Coty Inc.’s prestige division — has charted a dramatic reorganization of its top management in what it hopes will be a major step toward its goal of becoming a global beauty player in skin care, color cosmetics and fragrance. The announcement will be made today.
At the top of the list, the company’s 11 brands will be apportioned to two senior vice presidents — Catherine Walsh, who will focus on cosmetics-driven brands, and Francoise Mariez, who will oversee fragrance-oriented brands.
“Basically, our clear goal is to feel we have the right structure in place to aggressively build our skin care and color business and our global fragrance business beyond European borders,” explained Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, president of Lancaster Group Worldwide, adding that the reorganization helps reduce the number of direct reports — in some cases by close to 50 percent. “What matters for the next five years is to take Lancaster to the next level, for it to become a billion-euro company.”
For Lancaster’s fiscal year ended June 30, it registered sales up about 16 percent, to $574.8 million, making it 35 percent of Coty’s overall business. The Davidoff, Lancaster and Isabella Rossellini brands are now in the $200 million to $300 million range, Hoejsgaard said, while Jil Sander, Esprit and Yue-Sai are quickly catching up.
“It was a record year,” said Hoejsgaard, who for the first time started centralizing the group’s activities in Paris in the period.
With such critical mass, it became necessary to divvy the senior vice president’s job in two. The post had been held by Patrick Albaladejo, who left the firm in June. Walsh will become the company’s senior vice president, international marketing, cosmetics and American licenses, starting Sept. 15. Paris-based, she will manage the Lancaster, Isabella Rossellini, Yue-Sai and Esprit brands, and report directly to Hoejsgaard. Walsh previously spent 11 years with The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc., and, for the past three, has been vice president, marketing, Donna Karan Cosmetics.
An integral part of the group’s five-year plan, which was put in place when Hoejsgaard became president last year, is to make the U.S. the number one market for Lancaster Group. At present, Germany is its largest, followed by the U.S., Spain, China and Italy.
Another goal is to have combined skin care and color cosmetics sales represent 33 percent of sales and those of fragrance 66 percent, by 2005; currently, the breakdown is 20 percent and 80 percent, respectively. The ultimate goal is to have a 50-50 split.
In her new role, Walsh will also be charged with finding new license and acquisition possibilities in the U.S. “We are looking for companies that are clearly, directly related to the U.S. consumer and have a high awareness with them,” explained Hoejsgaard. He added that he expects the group will sign a licensing deal there in the “near future.”
In America, Hoejsgaard feels that Lancaster Group needs to add brands to its current offering of Cool Water and Isabella Rossellini “to take our business to the next level. It is a critical strategy to building our business over there.” Isabella Rossellini is currently Lancaster Group’s fifth best-selling brand, after one year on the market. Other top sellers include Davidoff, Lancaster, Jil Sander and Joop.
Walsh also will be instrumental in bringing Yue-Sai — China’s top-selling color cosmetics and skin care brand, which Lancaster acquired in 1996 and now includes some 400 stockkeeping units — to the U.S., before introducing it to the other parts of Asia and Europe.
The rest of Lancaster Group’s brands — Davidoff, Jil Sander, Chopard, Joop, Vivienne Westwood and Nikos — will be overseen by Mariez, whose new title, starting July 1, is senior vice president, international marketing, fragrances. She also will report to Hoejsgaard in her new post. Mariez has been with Lancaster for four years, most recently as vice president, marketing, Jil Sander.
Stefanie Fitzgerald will join Lancaster Group on Sept. 15 as vice president, marketing, Isabella Rossellini and Yue-Sai, reporting to Walsh. Since 1987, she has been with the Unilever Group, where she has been global marketing director, and European designer fragrances, Unilever Cosmetics, since 1996.
Also under the reorganization, there will be four executives reporting to Patrick de Lambilly, senior vice president, international commercial director, who in turn reports to Hoejsgaard. These include David Daniels, who, starting in October, will be general manager and vice president, marketing services, overseeing the promotions, trade marketing, training, merchandising and multimedia departments, based here. Daniels is currently general manager of Lancaster Group UK.
There also have been two new regional vice president positions created for Europe.
Based in Paris, Jean-Pierre Caslety becomes vice president, global key accounts and northern Europe — with overall responsibility for Benelux, France, Switzerland and Austria. He has been the general manager of Lancaster Group Germany since 1996. Leo van Welij, a nine-year L’Oreal veteran, will fill that post starting July 1.
Marisa Tendero has been promoted to vice president, southern Europe, overseeing Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. She will remain in Barcelona. Since 1999, she has been general manager of Lancaster Group Iberia and vice president, Latin America.
In other moves, Dino Pace has been named general manager of Lancaster Group Italy, also starting July 1. He joins Lancaster from the Swatch Group, where he was general manager of the Swatch division and helped build the company’s Italian business. He will report to Tendero.
Isabelle Dufour will become general manager, Lancaster Group France, on Oct. 1, reporting to Caslety. She has been with the company since 1998 as vice president, promotions.