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OPI CEO Schaeffer to retire
November 21st, 2013
NEW YORK – Coty Inc. has announced the retirement of OPI founder and chief executive officer George Schaeffer.
The beauty care giant said Thursday that Schaeffer will continue to work with OPI's management team in a newly created role as OPI's strategic board adviser.
To move the brand forward and lead its global expansion, Coty has appointed Mary van Praag as general manager of OPI. Van Praag is slated begin her new role on Jan. 1, replacing John Heffner, who has left the company to pursue other career interests.
Schaeffer, who is well-known for his philanthropy, plans to focus on The Schaeffer Family Foundation and multiple charities along with providing support for long-standing artistic director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann and van Praag as OPI's strategic board adviser.
"The OPI Brand is my baby, which I have loved and nurtured for many years, and will continue to do so," Schaeffer commented. "I look forward to working together with Mary and Suzi and expanding OPI's presence worldwide."
Since founding OPI in 1981, Schaeffer has built one of the beauty industry's most successful nail care brands, Coty noted. With a portfolio of over 400 creatively named, unique shades, OPI has for the past three decades linked fashion and entertainment with color cosmetics.
"George puts his heart into everything that he does: the OPI business, the professional nail care industry and his philanthropy," stated Michele Scannavini, CEO of Coty Inc. "I would like to thank George for his commitment over the years and wish him continued success in the future."
According to Renato Semerari, president of Coty Beauty, "George is a visionary leader and entrepreneur. I am very thankful for his leadership in making OPI such an iconic brand and for his help in making OPI become an integral part of the Coty family. I'm extremely pleased that he will remain involved in OPI's future."
Van Praag had led Coty's mass-channel sales organization in the United States for three years, after which she was promoted to her current role managing Coty's business in Canada.
"Mary's strong business acumen, category knowledge and diverse work experience will be key assets in expanding the OPI brand business internationally," noted Semerari. "She has been a star performer within the organization for many years, and I'm confident that there is no candidate more qualified than Mary for this important role."
"I'm deeply honored that Coty's leadership has chosen me to oversee the OPI brand, especially during this crucial time in the brand's history," added van Praag. "I'm eager to start my new role and working with George and Suzi to propel the OPI brand towards new levels of growth."