Revlon appoints first female chief executive

Revlon CEOIn its 86-year history, cosmetics company Revlon has appointed its first female CEO as it faces mounting losses and tries to keep up with the changing beauty industry.

Revlon has named Debra Perelman its first female chief executive, who will take over the position effective immediately as Revlon, a company that’s majority owned by Perelman’s billionaire father Ronald Perelman, faces intense competition in the market.

Perelman, who has been with Revlon for 20 years and was appointed chief operating officer in January, will replace Fabian Garcia who stepped down in the same month she was appointed company COO.

“Beauty has emerged as one of today’s most dynamic and fastest-growing industries,” Perelman said. “I am committed to driving the company to compete and thrive in today’s dynamic environment and encouraging our talented team’s entrepreneurial spirit, agility and bold creativity.

Perelman previously served as a senior executive at her father’s investment firm MacAndrews & Forbes, which now owns about 87 per cent of Revlon. Perelman’s father purchased Revlon in 1985 through MacAndrews & Forbes.

According to Revlon, over Perelman’s extensive career working for the company, she has served in operational and leadership roles across all facets of the business including finance, distribution and sales operations, international and marketing.

She is both an executive and a board member of Revlon who has been overseeing corporate strategy and leading the company’s ongoing digital transformation, including forming a data and analytics group and establishing infrastructure and deploying resources necessary to create a leading-edge e-commerce business.

Perelman has also recently launched a new partnership with MIT Media Lab to explore new ways to keep up with the changing world of cosmetics.

According to a CNNMoney analysis, women only hold about five per cent of the CEO jobs in the S&P 500 and the Fortune 500 only has 24 women CEOs in its ranks. In the beauty industry, women are also underrepresented in top leadership. The largest beauty industries Estee Lauder Companies and L’Oreal are led by men.

Revlon, which brands include the cosmetics line Elizabeth Arden, has posted a $90.3 million net loss for the quarter ending March 31 following an annual loss of $183.2 million in 2017.

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