LBB Specialties restructures leadership team for further growth

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Twomeows_IS)
© Getty Images \ (Twomeows_IS)

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The personal care and cosmetics ingredient distribution venture has named a new CEO and Executive VP to “maximize growth” in existing markets as well as through additional acquisitions.

LBB Specialties is owned by LeBaronBrown Industries, a private equity firm founded in 2015 by Simon Brown and Matt LeBaron. And the company has two specialty chemical distribution businesses as subsidiaries: Charkit Chemical Company and American International Chemical or AIC.

Now leaders from both of those businesses have senior positions with LLB Specialties and will be collaborating closely to drive business growth.

People on the move

Darren J. Birkelbach has been with LBB Specialties since mid-2019 when he was hired as President of AIC. Going forward Birkelbach is CEO of LBB Specialties. “I'm excited to begin my expanded role and the opportunity to work alongside the entire team to meet and exceed expectations,” ​Birkelbach tells the press.

“LBB Specialties,”​ he says, “is perfectly positioned for accelerated growth through our focused market coverage, strong relationships with specialty product principals, acquisition strategy, and commitment to provide top-notch service and quality to our growing customer base.”

Also this month, the company named Jay Lang Executive Vice President, Strategic Business Development for LBB Specialties. Lang was previously President of Charkit. In his new role, he “will lead key commercial growth initiatives for both organizations. He also will play a key role in assessing potential acquisition targets for fit within the LBB Specialties portfolio,”​ according to the press release announcing the leadership restructuring.

Business on the rise

“Redeploying our two Presidents to enterprise-wide roles will facilitate strategic alignment to maximize growth, which LBB Specialties is committed to pursuing via the AIC and Charkit brands,” ​explains Charles Hinnant, founder of Charkit Chemical Company and a member of the LBB Specialties Advisory Board.

In conjunction with the leadership restructuring, “LBB Specialties' growth strategy will enable AIC and Charkit to offer our customers and principals even stronger partnerships than we can today,” ​says Hinnant.

For LBB Specialties, it will be a continuation of growth. Aside from incremental progress like AIC opening a spacious new headquarters last October and signing a distribution deal with Evonik shortly thereafter. The company has been deliberately acquisitive too. In July of last year, Charkit acquired CA Specialties and Custom Ingredients.

“The business of Custom Ingredients centers on ready-made blends of ingredients that beauty manufacturers…can purchase to accelerate and streamline their production process,” as Cosmetics Design reported​ at the time of the deal.



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.
Deanna will be speaking next at the Uplink Live event in LA this month​ (save 10% on tickets with code: CD10) and at Green Beauty Night in February​.

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