You won’t hear a single complaint from the CEO of L’Oréal, the largest beauty company in the world. Trade tensions? Recession talk? China slowdown? Jean Paul Agon says he’s “pretty optimistic and confident” about the outlook for his business in 2019.
“People are happy to buy beauty products,” Agon tells Fortune. “It makes their life easier, more happy, more beautiful. So I’m not worried.”
L’Oréal (LRLCY), based in Clichy, France near Paris, has been delighting women all around the world with its lipsticks, perfumes and skin care products for 110 years. It is home to 30 brands from mass market Maybelline to luxury brands like Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani. With revenues of nearly $30 billion dollars it is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 500 largest companies in the world.
Agon has been working at L’Oréal for more than 40 years and he’s been CEO since 2006. He gets rave reviews for the innovations he has introduced in cosmetics and his growth push in China. L’Oréal is the number one beauty company in the Asian nation. But what excites Agon most these days, is L’Oréal’s digital initiatives. He says digital has transformed the beauty industry. E-commerce is growing 40 percent a year at L’Oréal.
“The future of beauty is tech,” he says. “I want L’Oréal to be the pioneer, the champion, and of course, the leader of this new beauty tech world.”
Watch the video above for more from my interview with Agon.