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CEW’s Newsmaker Forum: Coty’s Beetz

From left, Cosimo Policastro, executive vice president, Givaudan; Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW; Bernd Beetz, CEO, Coty, Inc.; Catherine Walsh, senior vice president, American fragrances, Coty Prestige, CEW board member; and Jill Scalamandre, group vice president of Avon and CEW chairwoman, at CEW's Newsmaker Forum.

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: May 4, 2007
Cosmetic Executive Women held a recent Newsmaker Forum entitled Reinventing the Fragrance Conversation. The March 28 event featured Bernd Beetz, CEO, Coty, Inc. Following a laudatory introduction by Cosimo Policastro, executive vice president, Givaudan, that highlighted Coty’s performance and the four consecutive years of double-digit growth, Beetz discussed the professional experiences that have shaped his career. Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Kenneth Cole fragrances—in addition to Vera Wang Princess, J’Adore, Chloe and Cerruti—have made Coty’s name synonymous with the “designer, lifestyle and celebrity” core philosophy of the Coty enterprise.

Beetz, who spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble and followed by a short tenure at LVMH, said his work at Coty provided him with the opportunity to “cast a whole new organization, redefine the business model and create a culture with different ways of doing things.” He emphasized clear vision, strategy, execution and culture as the primary areas of concentration. “It was clear we needed a female fragrance in tune with the times, and we came out with JLo,” said Beetz. “Today, Coty is a $3 billion company and it will become a $5 billion company. We have organized around ‘designer, lifestyle and celebrity,’ as well as color cosmetics and skin care.”

Beetz also noted the importance of optimizing development via the digital world. “Once you have a vision and a strategy, it’s all about the people,” he said, adding that the digital world is working as a catalyst to enable more input from the consumers and the ways to communicate with them. He concluded with acknowledgment of the forthcoming challenges for the industry, saying, “Regulations are coming from left, right and center, and the green movement is a total challenge and opportunity. I think we have to open up our minds to translate it into concepts and products.”