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New CEO Steps In at Canada's Lise Watier Cosmetics

Posted: September 18, 2013

After 40 years at the helm of the cosmetics empire she founded, Lise Watier made the official announcement at the company's head office that she and her husband, Serge Rocheleau, CEO, have passed the torch to Pierre Plassard, now the president and CEO of Lise Watier Cosmetics. Watier steps down having accomplished her mission and intends to spend some of her time raising funds and promoting the Lise Watier Foundation.

Plassard has more than 20 years of international management experience, most of it in the beauty and cosmetics industry. In his 16 years with the L'Oréal group, he occupied various positions in sales, marketing and general management. He also managed L'Oréal;s Active Cosmetics division in Morocco, China and several other western European countries. Since 2011, he has been in charge of French operations and international development for one of that country's leading online travel agencies, voyageprive.com.

"As a man with good leadership and social skills, Pierre strikes me as the ideal person to lead the company. His personality is a good fit with the entrepreneurial culture we've established," said Watier. "He has extremely relevant experience in the beauty industry, primarily in Europe, and proven management skills. But most of all, he is a man with values. I was involved in every stage of the selection process and am very pleased with our choice of candidate."

Edward Truant, partner in the Imperial Capital Corporation equity fund and company shareholder, added, "This change in management is a major turning point for the company. We have every confidence in Mr. Plassard's ability to optimise our profitability across Canada, where we still see potential for significant growth. His openness to the world will allow him to make the most of opportunities to develop strategic new markets. He will pursue the company's expansion and consolidate its position as an industry leader."

For his part, Plassard affirmed, "I am thrilled to join the big Lise Watier family, proud to have been asked to take the helm of such a great company, appreciative of the work accomplished to date, and convinced of the huge potential of the brand in Canada and internationally. I am also pleased to be back in the beauty industry after an educational foray into the world of e-commerce." Born in France, accepting this new professional commitment, the new president/CEO relocated his family to Quebec.

"Leaving my cherished employees is by far the hardest part of this," said Watier with visible emotion. "I had the privilege of seeing the evolution of so many professionals and colleagues, people I worked with every day at the company—some for a few years, others for more than 35 years." Rocheleau and Watier will continue to sit on the board of directors and will keep their shares in the company.

Founded in 1972, Lise Watier Cosmetics, a leader in the Canadian beauty industry, specializes in the production and distribution of cosmetics, skin care products, and prestige perfumes. The company, which is headquartered in Montreal, employs close to 175 people and distributes some 500 products in more than 2,000 points of sale throughout Canada as well as online in the United States. Imperial Capital Corporation, the Toronto-based equity fund manager, became a majority shareholder in the company in March 2007.