Coty Chairman Harf Takes Over As CEO; Firm Promises Improved Performance Accountability
Marking Coty’s fourth CEO appointment in less than four years, current chairman Peter Harf will lead the firm’s newly created executive committee, which also includes Coty’s CFO and Gordon von Bretten, announced on 28 May as Coty’s first-ever chief transformation officer. Von Bretten joins Coty from investment firm KKR, which is buying Coty’s professional beauty and retail hair-care businesses.
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Sue Nabi’s success at L’Oreal, where she headed the firm’s global L’Oreal Paris and Lancome businesses, her skin-care savvy as founder of the luxury, “clean, green and vegan” Orveda, and her experience as a career champion of diversity were major draws for Coty, where she begins as CEO on 1 September.
In its third-quarter earnings call, Coty leadership discussed promising “green shoots” and the firm’s highly focused strategic priorities in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The beauty giant says it is selling its Professional Beauty and retail hair-care businesses to global investment firm KKR and targeting $700m in cost reductions over the next two and a half years. Coty already was in transformation mode prior to COVID-19, which drove a 23% decline in its third-quarter net sales, and it does not expect revenue levels to normalize anytime soon.