NEW YORK — Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris USA, plans to retire at the end of 2016 after 37 years with the beauty care company.
L’Oréal said Tuesday that Ikdeep Singh, president of the consumer products division of L’Oréal Canada, take over from Fondu as general manager for L’Oréal Paris USA. Singh will report to Michel Brousset, president of the L’Oréal USA consumer products division.
“Karen Fondu is a highly dedicated and passionate professional who has devoted her entire career to L’Oréal,” L’Oréal chairman and chief executive officer Jean-Paul Agon said in a statement. “Her strategic vision and expert knowledge of building brands and infusing them with inspiration and ambition has made her one of the most recognized and admired professionals in the beauty industry.”
L’Oréal described Fondu as a “prime figure” in helping to drive the beauty care giant’s growth in the U.S. market.
Fondu started at L’Oréal in 1979 as a sales representative for hair coloring. She later became key account manager and then district manager for L’Oréal Mid Atlantic, before being appointed as regional manager of L’Oréal West Coast and moving to California in 1982. She returned to New York in 1984 to pursue her sales career on a national level.
In 1992, Fondu was named vice president sales for the L’Oréal cosmetics division, which included L’Oréal Paris and later Maybelline. L’Oréal noted that she played a pivotal role in the integration of Maybelline into the L’Oréal Group and in the brand’s rise to the No. 1 position in the United States.
Fondu was promoted to deputy general manager for Maybelline New York/Garnier in 2000, and two years later she became president of Maybelline New York/Garnier. The company said she continued to pursue the brands’ expansion before being named president of L’Oréal Paris USA in 2008.
“Karen Fondu’s legacy at L’Oréal goes beyond even her extraordinary business success and professional achievements,” stated Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L’Oréal USA. “Over the course of her career, Karen trained, mentored and developed several generations of talent, who have in turn gone on to have remarkable careers and contribute to L’Oréal’s success. Karen also worked tirelessly to engage the community, champion women’s empowerment, and expand L’Oréal Paris’ philanthropic initiative, Women of Worth, to celebrate the individual beauty and intrinsic worth of every woman.”
Singh has served as president of the L’Oréal Canada consumer products unit since July 2014. He joined L’Oréal in January 2014 from Procter & Gamble Co., where he held commercial and marketing roles since coming to the company in 2000. Most recently at P&G, Singh was the China general manager for all hair care brands, and L’Oréal said that under his leadership China became the single-biggest contributor to P&G’s growth.