L’Oréal 2021 exec shuffle: CEO succession and high-level research push

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Next year, L'Oréal will have a new CEO and newly merged business unit combining research, innovation and technologies (Getty Images)
Next year, L'Oréal will have a new CEO and newly merged business unit combining research, innovation and technologies (Getty Images)

Related tags: L'oréal, Ceo, Innovation, Research, Business

International beauty major L’Oréal has announced a series of changes at its helm for next year, including the succession of its current CEO and creation of a new business division merging research, innovation and technologies.

After 15 years leading L’Oréal, current CEO Jean-Paul Agon will be succeeded by Nicolas Hieronimus, current deputy CEO in charge of divisions, on May 1, 2021. Agon would retain his status as chairman of the group – a position he has held since 2011.

L’Oréal’s appointments and governance committee had been working on the succession plan for around 18 months as it related to Agon’s need to retire by the age of 65 years.

“The Board of Directors is convinced that the proposed organisation will guarantee the sustainability of the performance, values and commitments of the group, as well as the quality of its governance.”

Agon added: “Nicolas Hieronimus is an inspiring leader who has all the qualities required to be the CEO of L’Oréal. His great sensitivity to the needs and expectations of consumers, his perfect understanding of the spirit of the times, his marketing experience of beauty in all channels, countries and categories, his intimate knowledge of the group’s brands and his ability to unite and engage teams make him the best candidate to lead L’Oréal.”

Merging research, innovation and technologies

L’Oréal also announced the formation of a merged Research, Innovation and Technologies division – set to come into effect on February 1, 2021. The new division would be led by Barbara Laversnos, current executive VP and chief technologies and operations officer, who would also take on the role of deputy CEO of L’Oréal, working alongside Hieronimus from May 1.

Antoine Vanlaeys, current operations director for APAC, would replace Laversnos as chief operations officer.

Agon said the establishment of this new business unit and placement of Lavernos as president, along with deputy CEO, placed research “at the highest level of the group”​ and confirmed its “critical role” ​in L’Oréal’s future.

“The new direction, combining research and innovation and technology will be the cradle of the group’s great inventions for the future,”​ he said.

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