Barbara De Laere stepped into her new role as senior vice president and general manager of Aveda North America on December first. “Based at Aveda’s global headquarters in Blaine, Minnesota, Ms. De Laere will be responsible for optimizing Aveda’s growth potential in North America,” affirms a company media release.
Commenting on the hire, Thia Breen, group president, North America at The Estée Lauder Companies, says, “Barbara is a strong analytical and strategic thinker with proven ability to lead luxury beauty brands and drive growth. Her deep expertise in skin care, hair care and the luxury salon channel position her well to take on this important role for the Company and our North America business.”
De Laere reports directly to Breen and, through a matrix line, to Dominique Conseil, global brand president of Aveda.
De Laere, fluent in 4 languages (Dutch, English, French, and German), joins Estée Lauder after a 17-year career with L’Oréal.
Immediately prior to this, De Laere, working in Shanghai, China, was L’Oréal’s general manager and executive vice president for the Asia Pacific region of the company’s professional products division.
“Her global experience has included positions in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and New York, as well as broader oversight of Western Europe and Asia Pacific,” as the press release announcing her appointment outlines. “During her tenure, she was responsible for managing the brand identities, go-to-market strategies and revenue growth of several well-known hair care brands.”
The road ahead
“Barbara’s unique experience strengthening brand identities and building brand advocacy with consumers and the luxury salon and spa community, will be a significant asset to our team and our future growth in North America,” remarks Conseil.
Aveda does a strong professional business in salons and spas worldwide. According to the company media release, “since 2007, more than half of the fastest growing salons in the U.S. have been part of the Aveda network.”
Going forward De Laere will lead the brand’s marketing, retail, sales, and education strategy. Included in that is the professional market, online and omnichannel retail, as well as digital marketing and social media.