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Coty Names Former L'Oreal Executive as Its Fifth CEO in 4 Years

By Rich Duprey - Updated Jul 2, 2020 at 10:04AM

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The cosmetics company's C-suite has seen a lot of turnover in just the last two months.

It seems just like yesterday that Coty (COTY)announced it was appointing Chairman Peter Harf as CEO. He was, he said at the time, "delighted to return to an active leadership role" and lead the embattled cosmetics company on a turnaround. 

Well, it wasn't yesterday, but it was literally just one month ago, and the delight apparently faded quickly.

Coty just announced Sue Nabi, a former executive at L'Oreal and currently head of her own new-age skincare start-up Oreveda, will become the next CEO of the company. Harf will assume a more sedentary role once again, this time as executive chairman. With her appointment, Nabi will be Coty's fifth CEO in four years.

Woman having makeup applied

Image source: Getty Images.

Fresh faces

The cosmetics company is in turmoil. It's been casting about for a catalyst to infuse growth into a business that has stagnated. Its issues have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many consumers to withhold discretionary spending

Earlier this year, it looked as though Coty had been snookered on its investment in Kylie Jenner's cosmetics business. That deal -- $600 million for 51% of the company -- put an implied valuation of about $1.2 billion on Kylie Cosmetics, only for it to be revealed afterward that, based on its sales, its true value may be decidedly lower.

But Coty recently doubled down on the Kardashian family's cachet, paying $200 million for a 20% stake in Kim Kardashian West's cosmetics company. Under that new partnership, Coty will take over the portfolio development side of things, while Kardashian West will manage the creative end.

Harf said that Nabi's "outstanding creativity is celebrated in the beauty industry." She is credited with creating the Lancome division's top-selling fragrance, La Vie Est Belle, and with changing L'Oreal's long-time tag line "Because I'm worth it" to the more inclusive sounding, "Because we're worth it."

Nabi said she looks forward to building a "new, more modern Coty," and will be dividing her time between the cosmetics company's global offices in Amsterdam, London, New York, and Paris.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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