Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter’s founder, will return to the brand she founded in 2013 and will officially assume the role of Chief Executive Officer as of February 1st</strong>.
Renfrew launched Beautycounter in 2013, after spending two years preparing its creation, in particular through a list of ingredients that she deemed harmful and potentially harmful and that the Santa Monica, CA-based brand would never use in its formulations. Under her leadership, Beautycounter grew as pioneer of the clean beauty movement and became an iconic brand of the so-called ‘clean beauty’ movement in the United States, pushing other brands to begin taking steps to increase their own safety standards and transparency. Beautycounter was also involved in several advocacy actions to strengthen the cosmetic legislation in the U.S. or to promote a clear definition of what are “natural cosmetics”.
In 2021, she decided it was time to sell the brand and signed a deal with US capital-investment group Carlyle, which acquired the majority stake of Beautycounter in a transaction valuing it at USD 1 billion. While initial plan was for her to stay on as CEO, she stepped down in 2022 and Marc Rey, formerly the head of Shiseido Americas, was brought on as CEO. The Carlyle Group aimed to increase the brand footprint through an omnichannel business model. Beautycounter thus partnered with beauty retailer Ulta to be available on Ulta.com and in Ulta Beauty stores across the U.S. In addition to Ulta Beauty, Beautycounter intended to continue selling through its own DTC e-commerce site, its network of 45,000 direct sellers in the United States and Canada, and its two standalone stores in New York City and Denver, Colorado.
However, Rey departed the company a year later and was replaced by Board Director Mindy Mackenzie as Interim Chief Executive Officer. And eventually, Carlyle decided it was time for Renfrew to return as CEO while Mackenzie stay as a member of the Board of Directors.
“Without question, Beautycounter’s greatest opportunities are ahead of us. Consumers are demanding, now more than ever, the things that we have brought to the industry from the very beginning: transparency, health & safety for people and the environment, innovative products, an engaged community and a business that is much more than its bottom line. Who we are, and the work we do, truly matters to so many people. I’m energized to build on our history of disrupting to create a movement for change and a higher industry standard,” Renfrew said in a statement. “I am looking forward to getting back to working with the team (including some familiar faces joining me again). It’s not going to just be business as usual, and I’m looking forward to raising the bar even higher for our company and the industry at large,” she continued.