WELLA USA HEADS WEST

Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

MONTVALE, N.J. — In a move to align its North American salon operations, Wella USA is moving its headquarters, based here, to Woodland Hills, Calif., home of its subsidiary, Sebastian International, which produces hair products and color cosmetics.
The move will result in a combination of Wella’s and Sebastian’s sales, finance, information technology, human resources and legal operations. Creative initiatives, such as marketing, will remain separate. The number of job cuts stemming from the move, which is expected to be executed by Jan.1, 2001, has not been announced.
Wella USA’s chairman and chief executive officer, Steve Goddard, will manage North American operations for Wella, Sebastian and Belvedere, a subsidiary salon furniture manufacturer based in Belvidere, Ill.
According to a Sebastian spokeswoman, William Decker, vice president of marketing for Wella USA, has been promoted to senior vice president of Wella USA. Claire Bruno, senior vice president of marketing for Sebastian, has been appointed president of Sebastian International. Manolis Lekkas, chairman and ceo of Sebastian, will oversee the transition through the end of the year, and according the spokeswoman, “has chosen to return to his native Greece” following the move.
Wella Manufacturing, based in Richmond, Virginia, will oversee Sebastian’s manufacturing and distribution operations.
Wella USA is owned by Darmstadt, Germany-based Wella AG. According to Wella AG’s 1999 annual report, North American sales made up 11.9 percent of total group sales, or approximately $252 million, up 24.8 percent from the previous year.

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