Coty announced Nov. 21 the retirement of OPI founder and CEO George Schaeffer. The beauty-industry legend will continue to work with OPI's management team through a newly created role as OPI's strategic board adviser.
The global beauty company also announced that it has appointed Mary van Praag (pictured) to OPI general manager. She will begin her new role on Jan. 1, 2014, replacing John Heffner, who has left OPI to become CEO of Drybar.
Since founding OPI in 1981, Schaeffer has built one of the beauty industry's most iconic and successful nailcare brands. He 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 nailcare industry and his philanthropy," says Coty CEO Michele Scannavini. "I would like to thank George for his commitment over the years and wish him continued success in the future."
Coty Beauty president Renato Semerari adds, "George is a visionary leader and entrepreneur. 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."
Schaeffer states, "The OPI brand is my baby, which I have loved and nurtured for many years, and will continue to do so. I look forward to working together with Mary and Suzi [Weiss-Fischmann, OPI's longtime artistic director] and expanding OPI's presence worldwide."
van Praag successfully 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.
"Mary's strong business acumen, category knowledge and diverse work experience will be key assets in expanding the OPI brand business internationally," notes Semerari. "She has been a star performer within the organization for many years, and I'm confident that there is no candidate more qualified than Mary for this important role."
van Praag comments, "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. I'm eager to start my new role and work with George and Suzi to propel the OPI brand toward new levels of growth."
She is a graduate of Miami University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business with a major in marketing. She also completed an executive management program in general management at Harvard Business School.
[Image courtesy of Coty/Canada NewsWire]