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L’Oreal Taps its First Female President for the World’s Biggest Beauty Brand

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L'Oreal's new president takes the helm as the global cosmetics giant faces sluggish growth in its consumer products division.Angela Weiss 2010 Getty Images

L’Oreal SA has named the first female president of its flagship cosmetics label, elevating Delphine Viguier-Hovasse to the top job at the world’s biggest beauty brand.

Viguier-Hovasse, who has been running the company’s Garnier unit, succeeds Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou as head of L’Oreal Paris. Angeloglou is taking on a new role with LVMH‘s Louis Vuitton, leading strategic missions in fashion and leather.

The move comes as L’Oreal wrestles with sluggish growth in its consumer products division, whose drugstore brands have underperformed the units selling high-end perfumes and premium skin care. L’Oreal Paris, which makes products such as True Match foundation and Revitalift wrinkle creams, is the cosmetics giant’s founding division.

Viguier-Hovasse will report to Alexis Perakis-Valat, president of L’Oreal’s consumer products division, the company said in a statement.

Even as lagging U.S. consumption and a rising interest in niche competitors dragged down growth for mass-market brands, L’Oreal Paris grew faster than the market last year and kept its crown as the world’s biggest beauty brand, L’Oreal Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Agon said in a presentation to investors in February.

“It’s a tougher battlefield,” Agon said of the U.S., where L’Oreal Paris has dominated drugstore shelves for years.

As consumers increasingly turn to online stores for cosmetics, L’Oreal Paris under Angeloglou staged splashy social media events, including live-streamed fashion shows.

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