Sep 29, 2014
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Coty CEO Scannavini steps down, personal reasons cited

Sep 29, 2014

Perfume and cosmetics maker Coty Inc said Chief Executive Michele Scannavini had stepped down for personal reasons, sending the company's shares down as much as 3 percent.

The company, whose competitors include Estee Lauder Cos Inc , L'Oreal SA and Elizabeth Arden Inc, said Chairman Bart Becht would act as interim CEO.

Michele Scannavini. (Source : Coty)

Scannavini, who was president of Coty Prestige for over a decade, was appointed CEO in August 2012 and led the company through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in June last year.

Coty, which has reported losses in three of the last five quarters, gets most of its revenue from perfume brands such as Calvin Klein and those it sells under the names of celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

The company has struggled in its home U.S. market as middle-income consumers cut back on discretionary purchases such as nail-cosmetics.

"This announcement is not indicative of any kind of unforeseen problem or financial issue at Coty," Chief Financial Officer Patrice de Talhouet said in a conference call.

JP Morgan analysts said Becht had a strong track record in driving shareholder value, particularly though mergers and acquisitions.

"We still believe that Coty has a lot of potential as an M&A story," the analysts said in a note.

"Coty is hardly unique in dealing with sluggish (home and personal care) categories but we expect an improvement in nail category trends to drive improvement over the next few quarters," the analysts said.

Coty said in July it would separate into two divisions, Coty Prestige and Coty Beauty, to better reach its luxury and middle-income clientele.

The company's shares were down 1 percent at $16.76 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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