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Innovation Takes The Spotlight at CEW Newsmaker Forum

Left to right, Renato Semerari, president, Coty Beauty; Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances, Coty Prestige; and Michele Scannavini, CEO, Coty, at CEW's September 2012 Newsmaker Forum.

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: September 20, 2012

The innovative products and marketing strategies of Coty Inc. took center stage at CEW’s Sept. 12, 2012, Newsmaker Forum held  at New York’s Harmonie Club.  Armand de Villoutreys, global divisional president, Firmenich, provided background on the partnership between Coty and fragrance supplier, Firmenich that was forged in the early 1900s. “We are proud to be part of a collaboration that has brought CK One, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Lady Gaga Fame, Calvin Klein and more to the industry,” said de Villoutreys. “Coty is a company of entrepreneurs and is still revolutionizing fragrances, with new products and a new business model. We take pride in our shared passion with Coty and are privileged to be your partners.”

Coty’s Extensive Portfolio

Coty, which was founded in 1904, has expanded considerably over the years, and recently added OPI, Sally Hansen and Philosophy to its portfolio. With 12,000 global employees, a new Coty Inc. CEO, Michele Scannavini, an entrepreneurial culture and diverse brand portfolio, Coty continues, according to the evening's presentations, to distinguish itself with new beauty and fragrance additions.

According to Scannavini, taking the podium following a brief video exploring Coty’s culture and brand portfolio, the beauty industry is indeed unique. “You have to be able to imagine business and treat each brand in a different way. Beauty is part of the dream and we are in the place where we can be part of the dream,” said the man with a wry sense of humor seen driving a blue Vespa in the program’s opening video.

Scannavini, who joined the beauty industry 10 years ago and was responsible for the global business activities of Coty Prestige (managing such brands as Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Cavalli, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Jennifer Lopez and Philosophy) is part of the team that has transformed Coty into a multi-segment beauty company with leading market positions in North America and Europe.

When discussing what he thought his previous affiliations had in common with the beauty industry, most notably positions at Fila, Ferrari and Maserati, and Procter & Gamble, he said “nothing.” However, he elaborated, “Respect for brand image and brand equity translate from all of those influences, and help to come up with the formula to make it work.” Over the past 10 years, Coty has undergone transformation under the leadership of Bernd Beetz. It is a company with $4.6 billion in sales, and, according to Scannavini, is successful largely due to two key elements: innovation and culture. “We like to think we can change the rules. We’re not happy with a safe bet, with banality. In a sense, we’re redefining beauty. The important things that Coty has brought have energized beauty,” he said.