Huda Kattan passes on the baton at Huda Beauty
Huda Kattan's cosmetics company has consolidated its management team with the appointment of its new CEO. Having served as the company's assistant general manager up until now, Nathalie Kristo will succeed the brand's founder in her new role, while Kattan will stay on as chairwoman.
The appointment of Kristo, who is known as Kattan's right hand, comes as no surprise. Since arriving at the company as North America president in late 2018, the executive's achievements have included the establishment of the first Huda Beauty digital and operations center in the U.S., in Los Angeles. Her most recent projects have concentrated on the company's strategic expansion, addressing both new markets and new segments, and including the launch of the brand's first skincare line. Following months working closely with Kattan, Kristo took on the role of assistant general manager in March of last year.
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Having graduated from Canada's McGill University, the executive boasts 18 years of experience at L'Oréal, where she held a range of different management roles. Notably, she led the Garnier and Maybelline brands on the Canadian market from 2008 to 2010, before taking over as VP for marketing at L'Oréal Paris, a role she held from 2010 to 2014. Following this, she moved over to NYX Professional Makeup, which was acquired by L'Oréal in 2014. After the move, Kristo occupied top management positions in marketing and business development and, in June 2017, the executive was named global president of the brand, a role she held for a year and a half before joining the ranks of Huda Beauty.
"In a few short years, Huda Beauty has become one of the most influential beauty brands in the world, fuelled by an authentic and personal connection with our community that spans the globe," said the brand's CEO when commenting on her appointment, effective two months ago. "I am honoured to join forces with such an inspiring founder and continue to harness our digital leadership, unique global footprint and total beauty expertise to grow the company into a global beauty powerhouse, which is deeply human at its core."
As for Kattan, who founded the brand in 2013 following her success as a blogger and makeup artist, the influencer admitted that it had never been her dream to become a CEO. "I wanted to create product, I wanted to create content. I love creating product from the perspective of the consumer. I would do it for free," she said. She also explained that due to the rapid growth of the company, she quickly found herself in the role of CEO, and that this meant sacrificing her involvement in parts of the business that she enjoyed, leading her to feel dissatisfied. She brought Kristo on board after over a year of searching for the ideal candidate to replace her.
Huda Kattan looks to the future
The businesswoman of Iraqi origin, who will maintain her role as chairwoman, was keen to stress that her choice to step back from the position of CEO does not mean that she is abandoning the company. "In some ways, I will be more involved than ever before, but in areas where my attention can leave a lasting impact on our community," she explained when discussing her projects, which range from creating new products to sponsorship initiatives with HB Angels, one of the pillars of the Kattan family's investment firm, HB Investments.
Since its launch seven years ago, Huda Beauty has established itself as one of the biggest names in the sector, thanks in part to its success on Instagram, where the brand and its founder have more than 47 million and 2.1 million followers, respectively. Owned by Kattan, her sisters, Mona and Alya, and her husband, Christopher Goncalo, the company sold a minority stake to TSG Consumer Partners in 2017. Valued at $1.2 billion, the company currently offers more than 140 cosmetics products, available through the brand's own e-commerce platform, as well as international distributers including Sephora, JC Penney, Harrods, Selfridges and Cult Beauty. As well as this beauty empire, which is based in Dubai, Kattan is also the founder of the Kayali and Wishful brands, which are specialized in fragrance and skincare, respectively.
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