Coty names Mary van Praag new OPI GM

OPI founder, CEO George Schaeffer to retire

NEW YORK — Coty has appointed Mary van Praag as GM of the OPI brand, effective Jan. 1, 2014. She will step into her new role and lead the brand's further growth and expansion as founder and CEO George Schaeffer announces his retirement.

Van Praag's successor will be announced in the coming weeks. Schaeffer will continue to work with OPI's management team through a newly created role as OPI's strategic board adviser.

Since founding OPI in 1981, Schaeffer has built one of the beauty industry's most iconic and successful nail care brands. With a portfolio of more than 400 shades, OPI has for the past three decades linked fashion and entertainment with color cosmetics.

After more than 30 years of leading OPI, Schaeffer, who is well-known for his philanthropy, will focus on the Schaeffer Family Foundation and multiple charities that support health-related causes and children's education.

"George puts his heart into everything that he does: the OPI business, the professional nail care industry and his philanthropy," stated Michele Scannavini, CEO of Coty. "I would like to thank George for his commitment over the years and wish him continued success in the future."

"George is a visionary leader and entrepreneur," added Renato Semerari, president of Coty Beauty. "I am very thankful for his leadership in making OPI such an iconic brand and for his help in making OPI become an integral part of the Coty family. I'm extremely pleased that he will remain involved in OPI's future."

To move the brand forward and lead its international expansion, van Praag will assume the role of GM of OPI, replacing John Heffner, who has left the organization to pursue other career interests. She will collaborate with OPI artistic director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.

Van Praag has led Coty's mass channel sales organization in the United States for three years, after which she was promoted to her current role managing Coty's business in Canada. She has been instrumental in turning Coty Canada's mass channel business around, as well as building and developing a stronger organization.

"I'm deeply honored that Coty's leadership has chosen me to oversee the OPI brand, especially during this crucial time in the brand's history," van Praag said. "I'm eager to start my new role and work with George and Suzi to propel the OPI brand toward new levels of growth."

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