JuE Wong joins Olaplex as CEO

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

photo courtesy of Advent International
photo courtesy of Advent International

Related tags: people on the move, Leadership, Hair care

In November, a private equity firm called Advent International announced it was acquiring the popular hair treatment brand. That deal closed in early January; and now, veteran beauty industry executive JuE Wong is at the helm with plans to expand the Olaplex product portfolio.

“Olaplex has emerged as one of the largest independent hair care brands in the world, and I am thrilled to be joining at such an exciting time for the business,” ​says JuE Wong, in this week’s media release.

“The brand,” ​notes Wong, “has successfully differentiated itself and is widely recognized among haircare professionals for creating the bond-building category. I look forward to working with the entire Olaplex team to deepen the brand’s strong customer recognition globally and further develop its ability to speak and sell to consumers directly.”

What does the future of Olaplex look like with JuE Wong as CEO?

Tricia Glynn, a Managing Director at Advent International (the private equity firm that now owns Olaplex), suggests that Wong will be charged to help the brand gain market share in the bond-building hair category, do more business in existing global markets and perhaps even introduce the Olaplex brand to new markets, saying, “[Wong] is a dynamic and experienced leader with a deep knowledge of the lifestyle and beauty industry. Her successful track record of delivering consistent results for brands seeking to grow market share, expand globally and build enduring consumer relationships makes her the right person to drive Olaplex’s ambitious growth plan.”

While the media release itself points to new product development and launches as a target for Wong: “she will lead the Company’s continued growth with a focus on broadening Olaplex’s product line, enhancing customer loyalty and expanding global distribution.” ​And Wong's own remarks (above) suggest that the brand will expand in the consumer space as well.

What is the value and potential of Olaplex in the hair care marketplace?

Just days after Advent International and Olaplex announced their deal last year, Cosmetics Design checked in with Kayla Villena, Senior Analyst of Beauty and Fashion at Euromonitor International​, to discuss the acquisition (as well as other recent M&A activity in the cosmetics and personal care industry).

“The whole positioning of Olaplex is for damage repair,”​ emphasizes Villena in the interview, adding that global market research firm’s own data supports the notion that damage repair “is a much-demanded product feature from [hair care] consumers.”

“Survey data at Euromonitor,” she says, “found that hair health was desired by 31% of respondents, in a hair care product; followed by 22% who wanted damage repair; and 15% who wanted anti-breakage.”

Pointing back to the Olaplex acquisition​, Villena implies it was a smart deal for Advent: “So this focus on a brand whose DNA is solely about damage repair—and all the technology and sophistication that go into developing that—…This makes sense.”

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DeannaUtroske-smallphoto

Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.
Deanna will be speaking next at the Uplink Live event in LA this month​ (save 10% on tickets with code: CD10) and at Green Beauty Night in February​.

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