Price, who will assume her new post Monday, will help round out Philosophy's management team led by chief executive officer Michael McNamara, who joined the company in May from Neutrogena Corp. Prior to Price's appointment, Philosophy's chief operating officer, Mark Harshbarger, oversaw the cfo responsibilities.
The executive addition comes one year after the company was acquired by private equity firm The Carlyle Group for an estimated $450 million. Philosophy's founder, Cristina Carlino, continues to serve as its executive chairman.
Price's 31-year tenure at P&G included a host of financial roles, including treasurer, controller and general manager. Most recently, she served as P&G's vice president of finance, global operations, before taking a leave of absence in March.
Commenting on the appointment, McNamara said in a statement, "Her broad accounting and financial background has been honed through more than three decades of experience in multiple divisions and disciplines of one of the world's leading consumer products companies. With Gretchen's leadership and expertise, we will build upon our strong foundation and talent pool...and propel Philosophy to the next level." McNamara added that the company is looking to fill several more executive posts, including marketing director and head of sales and education.
Philosophy — which is sold in Sephora, on QVC and in a number of department stores, generated net wholesale volume of roughly $120 million to $150 million in 2006, according to industry sources. It had planned to relaunch a comprehensive color cosmetics collection — recruiting Kevyn Aucoin Beauty co-founder Eric Sakas for the purpose — later this year. Those plans have been put on hold as the company focuses on fine-tuning its current business. McNamara said that, since joining the firm seven months ago, his first order of business has been to redirect growth back to Philosophy's core categories, namely skin care, fragrance and bath and body products. "The next step is to prepare the company for dramatic growth," he said, adding that recruiting talent is one element of that strategy. The long-term goal, he said, is to take the company public.