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It Cosmetics Founder Jamie Kern Lima to Exit Business

The founder and former ceo of It Cosmetics sold the company to L'Oréal for $1.2 billion in 2016.

The cofounders and chief executive officers of It Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima and her husband Paulo Lima, are leaving the business.

The Limas are set to exit the business at the end of September, when their contracts are up.

It’s been three years since the couple sold It Cosmetics to L’Oréal for $1.2 billion. That year — 2016 — the company was on track to do $400 million in retail sales, according to industry sources. L’Oréal said the business has doubled in size since it was acquired, ascending through the ranks of U.S. beauty companies and launching in 10 new markets.

L’Oréal veteran Patrick Kullenberg is stepping in as global brand president. Kullenberg has been with L’Oréal since 1995, most recently overseeing the L’Oréal business in the Nordic region, based in Copenhagen. Before that, he was the global head of Kiehl’s in the U.S., and Biotherm in France. He also worked as general manager of L’Oréal Paris in Spain, and held other marketing positions in the U.K. and France. He is slated to start in September.

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“After fulfilling my three-year, post-acquisition commitment to continue my role as ceo of It Cosmetics, and with the business doubling in size since the acquisition, the time has come to step away and into an exciting new chapter,” Jamie Kern Lima said in a statement, which noted that she plans to remain the “biggest brand champion ever.” Paulo Lima also said in a statement that he planned to “cheer” the team on.

Lima, a former television anchor and journalist, started IT Cosmetics because she couldn’t find makeup that didn’t look bad on camera, but that would also cover her rosacea. Two years after starting to pack orders in her living room, Lima landed a spot on QVC, where It took off.

Gradually, the brand has expanded through the specialty channel, including Ulta Beauty and Sephora, but the QVC hook was one of the things that initially got L’Oréal interested. “We admired what Jamie has accomplished with QVC because her charismatic spokesperson presence on television has converted so many women to the brand,” Carol Hamilton, then group president of L’Oréal Luxe USA and now group president of acquisitions, told WWD in 2016 when the purchase was made.

“Our pledge is to make IT Cosmetics the leading global ‘confidence building’ beauty brand,” said Cyril Chapuy, president of the Luxe division, in a statement.

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L’Oréal to Acquire IT Cosmetics