Jean-Paul Agon has led the L’Oreal Group as chief executive officer for 14 years. He will turn 65 on July 6, 2021 — so his successor will be named this fall. According to several reports, It is L’Oréal’s policy to announce a CEO’s successor before the executive’s 65th birthday.
The French newspaper Le Monde first announced the news last March, in an interview with Agon. He reveals that the company will most likely promote from within, and the new CEO is expected to take the reigns sometime between next spring and summer.
L’Oreal Group’s nominating committee will select a candidate to present to the Board of Directors. Nicolas Hieronimus is expected to be “first in line” to win the position.
In related news, L’Oreal’s Jean-Paul Agon Clears Up the ‘Whitening’ Controversy
Beauty for All, Digital Initiatives & Sustainable Development
Jean-Paul Agon known for his modern vision, philosophy of global marketing and the inclusive mission statement, Beauty for All. He often speaks about the importance of embracing digital, corporate social responsibility, and environmental issues.
Agon told CNBC in an interview in 2018, “Since I became a CEO in 2006, I think I contributed to change many things to make L’Oreal at the forefront of sustainability, of ethics, of all this digital transformation. So my obsession is to make sure that this company… is younger than ever. I want to run L’Oreal, it’s a big company, but I want it to have the spirit of a start-up.”
He continued, “I think that we’re entering into a new world and it’s going to be fascinating...And it’s true that at L’Oreal we really want to be the pioneers of this new age, this new world. So in terms of digital, in terms of artificial intelligence, in terms of fast prototyping, in terms of everything, we want to be leading, leading the front.”
Jean-Paul Agon Has Spent 42 Years at L’Oreal
Jean-Paul Agon has spent his entire career at L’Oreal. He joined the company in 1978
as a product manager for the Consumer Products division in France. In 1981, he was named GM of L'Oréal Greece, followed by GM of L'Oreal Paris in 1985 where he oversaw a number of key launches.
He also served as International Managing Director for Biotherm in 1989, Managing Director of L'Oréal Germany in 1994, and set up the L'Oreal Asia Zone in 1997 during an economic crisis.
In 2001, Agon was named President of L’Oreal USA, where he was instrumental in launching the Garnier Fructis line — before taking over L’Oreal Group as CEO in 2006.
L'Oreal Group Has Had Only 5 Leaders in its 110-Year History
L’Oreal was founded on July 30, 1909, in Paris, France — and has only had five leaders in its 110-year-history.
Eugène Schueller, a chemist, began the company when he created one of the first hair dyes, which he formulated, manufactured, and sold to hairdressers in Paris. He led his company for the next 57 years, until his death in 1956.
Next, L’Oreal began to expand internationally under the leadership of François Dalle. He led the company for 27 years from 1957 through 1983; followed by Charles Zviak, who took over from 1984 through 1988.
Lindsay Owen-Jones took the reigns for the next 18 years, from 1988 through 2005 — when L’Oreal Group became a world leader in cosmetics, completing numerous strategic acquisitions.
Next year marks 15 years for Jean-Paul Agon as CEO. His vision from the start was to make L’Oréal a great place to work and a “great citizen of the world”, as well as the global leader in beauty.
More About Nicolas Hieronimus
Nicolas Hieronimus may be next in line for the position of L’Oreal Group’s chief executive officer, succeeding Jean-Paul Agon.
Hieronimus is currently Deputy CEO, and in charge of Divisions since May 1, 2017. He first joined the company in 1987 as Product Manager.
Highlights of his career at L’Oreal include creating the Fructis haircare range in 1993 as marketing director of Laboratoires Garnier; repositioning L'Oréal Paris as an "accessible luxury" brand” as its International GM in 2000; serving as President of L’Oréal Luxe from 2011 through 2018; and taking on the additional role of President, Selective Divisions (Luxury, Active Cosmetics, Professional Products,) from July 1 2013 through 2017.
Photo: Jean-Paul Agon via L'Oreal's annual report, 2019.
L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon Shares Beauty Insights: A Conversation at CEW Newsmaker Forum