Coty Lands on Ex-L’Oreal Exec as Next CEO, Following 4 Years of C-Suite Shuffling

Alarice Rajagopal
Senior Editor
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Coty Inc. has appointed Sue Y. Nabi to chief executive officer, effective September 1, 2020. Peter Harf will be elevated to the role of executive chairman and will work closely with Nabi to lead Coty’s transformation.

Nabi is a recognized global innovator and beauty industry entrepreneur and is the founder and CEO of the new-age luxury skincare line, Orveda. Previously, she served as worldwide president of both L’Oréal and Lancôme during her 20-year tenure at L’Oréal.

Harf commented, “Sue is renowned as a visionary and ongoing game-changer whose outstanding creativity is celebrated in the beauty industry. I am proud that she now wants to bring her unique sense of inspiration to Coty.”

“Peter and Coty’s leadership have laid the groundwork to revitalize an iconic beauty business,” said Nabi. “I’ve been following their progress avidly and am inspired and energized by the opportunity to proudly lead the global Coty team into the future as we build the new, more modern Coty.”

See related: Coty Acquiring KKW Beauty

After having championed the diversity of beauty and beauty marketing in L'Oréal where Nabi helped boost the growth of its makeup brands, she was then named the youngest president in the company’s history. She followed that success with her revival of Lancôme including breakthrough product and brand successes that resulted in double-digit growth in makeup and skincare.

Nabi also introduced revolutionary campaigns for cosmetics and skincare appealing to a wider, more global demographic. A facility to build and manage diverse, multi-functional global teams was a hallmark of Nabi’s success. She resigned from L'Oréal in 2013 and began a new life in London. A shift in lifestyle and a personal health journey inspired the launch, along with co-founder Nicholas Vu in 2017, of the breakthrough clean, vegan, ultra-luxury skincare brand, Orveda.

Prior to Nabi’s appointment, Coty has reported five CEOs within the last few years. In February 2020, the company announced several executive and board appointments designed to help accelerate growth of the business. By summer 2020, after a strategic review, Pierre Denis was said to succeed Pierre Laubies as CEO of Coty.

Pierre Laubies had joined Coty in November 2018, and his operational and financial experience was instrumental to successfully leading the company’s transformation and completion of the integration of the P&G Beauty Business. This included stepping up the execution of its consumer brands, streamlining its organization and supply chain, and improving free cash-flow, allowing the company to consistently deliver on its financial targets. Laubies also initiated a strategic review of Coty’s professional and hair businesses and, with the partnership with Kylie Beauty, commenced the company’s expansion into key growth segments.

Denis was set to build on the strong foundation in place with his extensive sector experience to accelerate top-line growth across Coty’s core categories: fragrances, cosmetics and skin care. He was also tasked with the marketing, sales, human resources, R&D and legal organizations. Denis was most recently CEO of Jimmy Choo Group Limited, a position he held since July 2012 when he was recruited by JAB, the luxury accessories brand’s owner at the time.

Fast forward about four months after the February 2020 announcement, and Nabi is the next CEO in line. However, Coty has not yet reported on the recent amount of executive appointments that have occurred, or why its plans have changed.    

See related: Coty Sharpens Focus in Response to COVID-19

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