18 Dec 2020

Wella names new chief legal officer following Coty sale

Herminie Simonetta was previously GC of Coty's professional beauty and hair businesses

Portrait photo of Herminie Simonetta

German hair care company Wella has named Herminie Simonetta as its new group chief legal officer following the completion of its sale by former parent company Coty earlier this month.

Geneva-based Simonetta was previously a senior vice president at Coty and general counsel of its professional beauty and hair businesses, which was sold to private equity firm KKR at the start of December. 

The US buyout firm paid $2.5bn for a 60% stake in the businesses, with Coty retaining the rest. The deal came as the value of Coty’s hair and beauty portfolio tumbled, with the coronavirus pandemic reducing demand for beauty products.

Simonetta has almost two decades of in-house experience, overseeing matters such as global litigation and risk mitigation strategies, from commercial through to regulatory and IP risks.

Wella wrote in a statement: “Herminie is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of… navigating multinational FMCGs (fast moving consumer goods) through an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and business environment, successfully driving large internal and external teams across countries, and managing the transparent and effective development of talent.”

Simonetta joined Coty in Switzerland at the end of 2017 having previously been GC for Europe at Japan Tobacco International. She started her career as an associate at Jones Day in Paris and Geneva before taking up senior legal counsel roles at Gemalto (now Thales) and former Swiss private bank Faisal, according to her LinkedIn page.

Coty’s sale of its professional beauty and hair brands – including Wella, Clairol and OPI – will allow it to concentrate on its prestige and mass beauty businesses, which include Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Rimmel and MaxFactor.

In October, KKR named Annie Young-Scrivner as the CEO of the newly independent Wella Company. The acquisition was originally announced at the start of July.