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Leaders to Know 2012

By: GCI Editors
Posted: January 31, 2012, from the January 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Launching with one product—Skin Perfection Gel for the face—the brand has built a retail network that includes Sephora and Beauty Brands in the U.S., and Harvey Nichols and Fenwicks internationally. It is also sold through QVC.

Caroline Pieper-Vogt, CEO, Fusion Brands

“Caroline brings a fresh, creative and global perspective to Fusion Brands’ product development and branding,” Eugene Melnyk, owner and chairman of Fusion Brands Inc., said when he named Pieper-Vogt the new company’s CEO in 2009. And being fresh and creative with a rich background in real and effective beauty positions is a hallmark of the leaders that propel the industry.

A native of the U.K., Pieper-Vogt arrived in the U.S. in the early 1980s. Her intuition for business and persistent determination propelled her as she grew as a leader, absorbing an immense amount of industry knowledge along her path from a coordinator with Estée Lauder to senior vice president roles in marketing, sales and group business development at Clarins USA, and global vice president for Prada Beauty, among other positions. She brought knowledge and global perspective to the Fusion Brand’s research, development, manufacturing, distribution, and sales and marketing channels—allowing for a rapid and strategic expansion of the company into a global beauty entity.

Her talent for introducing fresh products and innovations to the market helped Fusion Brands foster a partnership with Sony Pictures and CBS Consumer Products to launch Jabot Cosmetics in 2011, one of the first fictional beauty brands to become available for purchase to consumers. Inspired by the beauty company portrayed on the daytime TV series The Young and the Restless, Jabot became a non-fiction premium collection of color cosmetics, skin care and fragrances.

Lewis Farsedakis, Founder and CEO, Blinc Inc.

Recognized multiple times by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., Blinc has averaged nearly 20% in annual growth and profitability since its inception in 1999. From 2005 to 2008, the company posted gains of 70.6%—with revenues of $2.5 million growing to $4.3 million. The numbers owe much to the business model and operational philosophy that Lewis Farsedakis put in place, as well as to his dedicated team, but the basis of the success may be more about his ability to crossbreed ideas and think about products and business in broader ways.